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Surprise! Americans Set to Open Wallets This Holiday

It’s going to be a joyful—and profitable—holiday season for retailers, according to the surprising findings of the latest CNBC Wealth in America survey.

Americans plan to spend an average $839 during the holiday season, up 17.6% from last year, the survey says.

But, consumers in the U.S. might spend far less on goods manufactured in China. More than half of those Americans surveyed said they are less likely to buy Chinese manufactured products.

And, when asked if they’re willing to spend more for products made in the USA, 66% said yes, 20% said no and 14% were unsure.

Of course, the mindset of “spend now” has its disadvantages.

The CNBC Wealth in America survey reports that two-thirds of Americans say they aren’t saving enough for retirement and, as a cautionary tale, more than half of those already retired say they didn’t save enough for retirement.

The only groups who think they’re saving enough: those with more than $50,000 in stocks or greater than $100,000 in income. A mere 6% of Americans with incomes below $30,000 think they have put enough away.

As the Dow closed Friday above 14,000, it is noteworthy that more than half of Americans surveyed believe a recurrence of the 1987 stock market crash, the anniversary of which is this Friday, is unlikely and about half of Americans believe now is a good time to buy stocks.

Interestingly, as the 2008 Presidential campaign heats up, 29% of Americans believe Democrats are better than Republicans when it comes to personal finance vs. 24% who favor Republicans.

Much of the economic news in the past few months has focused on the housing industry and, according to CNBC’s survey, an overwhelming 90% of American home owners expect their home process to stay the same or increase over the next 12 months by an average of 3.9%. And, nearly 80% of Americans said they don’t increase their spending based on gains in the price of either their homes or stock portfolios.

The full results of the CNBC Wealth in America survey will be reported on air Monday, beginning with CNBC Senior Economist Correspondent Steve Liesman on “Squawk Box” at 6 am New York time and throughout the rest of the day.

The results will also be available on CNBC.com.

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