Economists are expounding about how successful, or horrible, the upcoming holiday shopping season may be for Iowa merchants. Nancy Dunkel, chair of the Iowa Bankers Association, says most people no longer wait for the traditional Friday after Thanksgiving to launch their mall madness.
Dunkel says she’s hearing that more people have started their shopping much earlier this year, “probably a sign of the fact that everyone is looking forward to maybe having a more relaxing holiday season” instead of the last-minute shopping push. Dunkel, vice president of Fidelity Bank in Dubuque, says with the high prices we’re paying for gasoline and for utility bills, some consumers will be caught in a cash crunch.
She says the high gas prices in Iowa will have an effect on the holiday shopping, which is why she thinks some people may be shopping early in anticipation of the higher December heating bills as people want to get the spending out of the way sooner. Some utilities estimate our winter heating costs may rise 30 to 50-percent compared to last year.