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Utahns ready to spend on Christmas amid strong economy

People do some last-minute Christmas shopping at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns are feeling pretty optimistic about the economy just in time for the holidays, where many families are planning to spend a lot of money on Christmas this year.

While some people were walking into The Lady Bag on Main Street downtown Salt Lake City, most of their orders come online.

Marketing manager Anna Madsen says they buy and sell Gucci and other luxury handbags, “Our average price point is about $1,000, and we are finding that throughout the holiday season, we are staying within that $1,000 for an average sale,” she said.

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Anna Madsen talks to the media inside The Lady Bag

They’ve grown 25 percent since last year and Chad Berbert with the Cicero Group used them as an example of Utahns spending money.

“Utahns are overall quite positive about the current economic conditions, and by indications of this past weekend, sales in the state are primed for a strong year this holiday season,” Berbert said.

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Chad Berbert, Principal, Cicero Group

Berbert says more than 70 percent of Utahns plan to spend as much or more than they did last year. And those surveyed said more than half of their holiday spending will be done online this year.

Their research shows that Utahns plan to spend an average of 11-hundred dollars this year on Christmas shopping.

“One of the things we see in the overall data is there is a lot of optimism in the economy. People are feeling confident about jobs. And when they feel that way, they tend to spend more than they would otherwise,” he said.

The survey also shows 53 percent of Utahns feel housing prices will increase over the next 12 months, which is the lowest amount in 3 years.

73 percent believe interest rates will continue to rise and Berbert spoke about the optimism in the local economy that Utahns are currently feeling.

“This month, 64 percent of Utahns indicate they believe business conditions in the state to be good. That’s the highest level recorded since Zions Bank began measuring the consumer attitude index in 2011,” said Berbert.