Consumers plan to tighten spending for Christmas

A new survey reveals that most consumers will spend less for holiday shopping than they did in 2010.

According to America's Research Group, 82 percent of consumers polled said they planned to spend less or the same amount on Christmas gifts this year.

Britt Beemer, president of America's Research Group, told Reuters that the results of the survey may prove to be problematic for businesses.

"Retailers better be worried about Christmas," said Beemer. "If half of Americans believe it is going to be worse before it gets better, they may not be too excited about buying much this Christmas season."

In the same poll, more than half said they anticipated the economy would weaken further before it gets better.

Beemer added that fewer pay raises, falling home values, higher prices for goods and services and political infighting are having an adverse impact on Americans' spending behavior.

As the poll suggests, because of the poor economy, many consumers may be spending less this year so that they can get their finances under control. But responsible spending can still lead to low credit scores if creditors make notations on a report that are unfair or inaccurate. Thus, consumers should review their credit history frequently to make sure nothing is amiss.