More like Scrooge than Santa: Stress over debts could hold back holiday shoppers

(AP) – A lot more Americans are feeling stressed out by debt this holiday season, raising the glum likelihood they’ll behave like Scrooge rather than Santa.

In fact, fully 93 percent say they’ll spend less or about the same as last year, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll. Half of all those polled say they’re suffering at least some debt-related stress, and 22 percent say they’re feeling it greatly or quite a bit. That second figure is up from 17 percent just last spring, despite all the talk about economic recovery.

Most people – 80 percent – say they’ll use mostly cash to pay for their holiday shopping, and that generally means buying less.

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