About a month ago, the National Retail Federation came out with their annual Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. According to the survey, consumers were going to spend $832.36 apiece--a 1.9 percent increase from $816.69 in 2007.
Today, however, America's Research Group comes along with much bleaker prediction--$431. And it's not like the numbers from last year are that different. Last year, the ARG survey projected $859 per person.
I have no idea which of these surveys has a better track record, but that's a fairly massive difference in results.