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Holiday spending forecasted to hit 3-year high

Consumers are expected to spend more this holiday season than they did last year.

Americans are forecasted to spend more this year for the holidays, according to The Associated Press. While consumers are out shopping for holiday cheer, though, they'll still be looking for deals.

"It goes without saying there still remains some uneasiness and anxiety among consumers when it comes to their purchase decisions," Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, told the AP. "The lagging economic recovery, though improving, is still top of mind for many Americans."

Sales in November and December are expected to be up 4.1 percent this year to amount to $616.9 billion, the highest increase since 2011, according to the NRF. Analysts believe retailers will need to give promotions to get a share of this spending, however.

This is underscored by research from PwC and Strategy&, which found a forecast based on household income. Shoppers who make less than $50,000 plan to spend $377, they found, while those who make more than $50,000 will spend $978. The divide between shoppers who will need to shop for bargains and those who can choose whatever they like is fairly stark this holiday season.

However, there remains a general upward trend in holiday spending, which credit unions would do well to pay attention to. Members will likely be using their checking accounts freely during the holiday season, and some may have saved to fund gifts and other expenses at the end of the year too. Any promotions or rewards programs a credit union offers will likely perform well in the holiday season, as the combination of increased spending and an eye for deals sends consumers to look for ways to save and get good deals through the end of the year.