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Keeping Track: holiday spending

Consumer confidence slumped to its lowest level in a year last month - but don't expect spendthrift notions to dampen this year's holiday spending.

Holiday budgets are expected to rise to $1,684, an 8 percent increase over 1999, according to the 2000 American Express Retail Index on holiday shopping, a national poll of some 800 consumers.

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Projected budgets across every category of holiday spending - gifts, entertainment, travel, decorations - are also at their highest levels since the survey was introduced in 1995.

Some 15 percent of shoppers will buy online, compared with 12 percent last year; 3 percent in 1995. Overall, clothing still tops the gift list.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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