More last-minute holiday shopping this year

By Blake Ellis, contributing writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Holiday shoppers are procrastinating this season more than they have in the past five years, and are looking for discounts as Christmas nears, according to a retail group's survey released Wednesday.

On average, people had checked off 46.7% of their holiday shopping lists by the second week of December, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). It was the lowest level of shopping completion for the period since 2004, when people had finished an average of 46.3% of their shopping in the same time frame. Last year, the survey found shoppers had finished 47.1% of their buying by the second week of December.

Only 8.6% of shoppers had completed their purchases, while 19.1%, had not even begun, according to the survey. About 35% of shoppers expect to be done by Saturday, Dec. 19, which is traditionally the biggest single shopping day of the year.

With Christmas less than two weeks away, last-minute shoppers are looking for sales, with 42% of those surveyed expected to buy gifts from discount stores. About 42% will head to department stores, according to the survey, with about 38% of shoppers finding gifts online this season.

Not only are shoppers looking to spend less this season, but fewer are buying gifts with money they don't have. This year, 30.9% of shoppers are using credit cards for their purchases, compared to 33.8% last year.

The foundation said the survey was conducted between Dec. 1 and 9 among 9,929 consumers.

The NRF reiterated its previous forecast that holiday sales will 1% from last year, and said November retail sales declined 0.8% year-over-year. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,647.95 33.14 0.20%
Nasdaq 4,432.67 13.19 0.30%
S&P 500 1,948.79 7.51 0.39%
Treasuries 2.24 0.03 1.27%
Data as of 11:37am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Yahoo! Inc 42.48 2.30 5.71%
Apple Inc 103.60 1.13 1.10%
Bank of America Corp... 16.65 0.05 0.27%
Facebook Inc 79.55 0.86 1.09%
Boston Scientific Co... 12.46 0.43 3.57%
Data as of 11:21am ET

Sections

House lawmakers urge the Labor Department and Federal Trade Commission to investigate Jimmy John's. More

House lawmakers urge the Labor Department and Federal Trade Commission to investigate Jimmy John's. More

Apple Pay is double charging some Bank of America customers, and getting the charges taken off is a headache. More

Startups focusing on "ag tech," or agricultural technology, are gaining the attention of farmers and investors More

Consistently checking whether you're savings is projected to last you through retirement is one of the best ways to create a smart and responsible retirement income plan and manage it along the way. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.