47% of consumers to spend tax refunds in retail

Sixty-six percent of U.S. consumers are expecting a tax refund this year, according to a recent survey sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). And 47 percent of these consumers are planning on spending their refunds on goods such as apparel, electronics and convenience items.

Of those surveyed, 5 percent will spend the money on apparel and footwear, and 13 percent plan to spend the tax refund on home improvements, home goods, furniture or large appliances. In addition, 4 percent of consumers plan to buy electronics during tax refund season this year.

These revelations may not be a surprise. A recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University showed that while housing construction is still slow, the home improvement industry is faring much better. In fact, between 2011 and 2013, funds spent on home improvement rose by almost $6 billion, the first spending increase in the segment since 2007.

"As the economy continues to strengthen and consumer sentiment remains positive, this influx of disposable income is a boon for retailers and shopping centers," said Jesse Tron, spokesman for ICSC. "Just as lower gas prices have positively impacted consumer spending, so too will tax refunds bolster our economy."

According to the survey, younger U.S. shoppers are more likely to spend their tax refunds, as opposed to saving, investing or paying down loans with the money. Just more than half of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 will spend their refund, compared to 43 percent of those above the age of 35 who plan to do the same.

For more:
-See this International Council of Shopping Centers press release

Related stories:
82% of shoppers have made a cross-border purchase online
Home improvement outpaces housing industry
Lowe's opens innovation center in India
Lowe's prepares for spring by hiring 30,000 employees
Lowe's Names Customer Experience Executives

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