Ahead of the Wall Street crisis, continued housing market declines and an upturn in unemployment had consumers spending less last month, Deloitte reported this week.
An 11 percent decline in home prices in September combined with tighter credit and reduced savings are putting a drag on spending, the New York-based research firm said. While recent drops in energy prices will help consumers cut costs, wages are still down two percent from a year ago, the report said.
At the same time, unemployment claims are up by 35 percent from a year ago, which will force many households to focus on discounts this holiday season, researchers said.
"Retailers will be well-positioned by emphasizing their unique value propositions, whether that means price, customer service, loyalty programs, or some other metric important to their customer base," Stacy Janiak, the head of Deloitte's U.S. retail division, said in a statement.