Poll: 67% cutting back on holiday spending

More than two-thirds of people surveyed in a CNN poll reporting belt-tightening.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Americans say the sagging economy is making the 2008 holiday season more stressful than previous years, according to a CNN poll out Monday, with up to two-thirds of them reporting some belt-tightening.

Four in 10 people questioned in the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey said the recession is adding stress to their holiday season. The poll found 67% of the 1,096 adults questioned said they are cutting the amount they plan to spend on Christmas or Hanukkah gifts, and 65% said they are cutting back on leisure travel, dining out or going to the movies.

"That means that cutting back on holiday is the number one way that Americans are reacting to the recession," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "More Americans are cutting their gift-giving budget than are cutting back in any other category of spending, from leisure activities, like going to movies or restaurants, to clothing to major purchases such as furniture or other appliances."

In the poll, 31% of respondents said they had cut back on necessities such as food or medicine, and 38% said they had cut heating or electric bills. Half said they have postponed a major purchase like furniture or appliances -- always a bad sign for the economy.

"No wonder so many Americans are stressed out this holiday season," Holland said.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted December 1-2, with a sampling error of 3 percentage points. To top of page

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