With just two weeks to go until Christmas, more than half of consumers in a recent survey said they still haven't completed the bulk of their gift buying and more than a third have done very little or none of it.
They’re also cutting back on their spending, according to the latest results of a CNBC survey tracking the holiday shopping season. The survey found that Americans plan to spend, on average, $735 for the holiday season – down from an average of $764 reported two weeks ago.
Some 20 percent of those surveyed have completed none of their shopping and 16 percent said they had done "very little" shopping, according to CNBC's Holiday Central survey. White-collar workers are the farthest behind in their shopping, with 43 percent reporting they had done little or no shopping. Men under 50-years-old and non-married consumers were also shopping holdouts – with 40 percent of those groups reporting they had done little or no shopping.
The survey tracks consumer trends, on-line sales, specialty stores, big box discounters, and the factors affecting overall spending.
A "spending gap" is growing between men and woman, according to the CNBC survey. Men, on average, planned to spend about $76 more than women -- up from $41 in the first survey released on Nov. 27. Men over 50 and married men have higher planned spending levels.
Despite the retail industry’s efforts to promote discounts, fewer than one in three consumers say there are more sales and discounts this year than last year. Older consumers are apparently more aware of promotional price cuts: 53 percent of those 65 and older say that there are more sales and discounts this year.