SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A bit of wet weather and soaring inflation were not enough to keep last-minute holiday shoppers from heading to San Diego malls on Christmas Eve.
"It doesn't stop us, we're going from one place to another," said Ian Mathisen, who bought stocking stuffers at the Target in Grossmont Center Friday. "It's just nice to be able get out of the house this time of year."
From gasoline to groceries to Christmas cards, San Diegans are being walloped by annual inflation above 6 percent, levels not seen in 30 years.
But if Friday was any indication, high prices were not keeping shoppers home, with parking lots getting closer to full by lunchtime.
"I mean I'm not really holding back," Mathisen said. "Thankfully I have the means to kind of get some gifts, so it's been really nice."
University of San Diego economist Alan Gin said that's to be expected this holiday season, despite the higher costs. He said people are pent up from missing Christmas in 2020 amid Covid-related capacity restrictions. Plus government stimulus, an increase in wages, and a return to work are putting more cash into consumer pockets.
"They were restricted last year," Gin said. "They want to go out and splurge, also they have more money to spend now."
The nonprofit Conference Board says the typical American household plans to spend $1,022 on gifts, food, and decorations for the holidays this year.