In spite of the new trend of holiday in July shopping deals, early holiday sales are doing little to get Americans into the spirit of spending on gifts this year. Only about half of American adults (54%) plan to spend $300 or more on holiday gifts, a striking 10% decrease from what Americans last year said they typically spend, according to a survey commissioned by ING DIRECT. Plans to spend less than $300 on holiday gifts remain the same as what Americans in November 2008 said they typically spend. Only 11% plan to spend between $1 and $100 this year, which is unchanged from what gift givers in 2008 said they typically spend, and 23% plan to spend $100 to $299 compared to 21% of what Americans last year said was the norm. Additionally, 11% indicated they do not plan to spend any money on gift giving in 2009, compared to 7%, which Americans in 2008 said was typical — a 57% increase. Spending between $500 and $999 is expected to change from 25%, which Americans in 2008 said they typically spend, to 23% this year. Spending $1,000 or more is also projected to change from 12%, which Americans in 2008 said they typically spend, to 10% this year. Northeasterners & Older Americans Plan on Spending the Least Every region of the country plans to spend less this holiday season than what Americans last year said they typically spend. But Americans in the northeast are cutting back the most on their normal holiday spending. This year, only 57% of northeast residents said they will spend $300 or more on gifts, compared to 71%, which northeasterners last year said they typically spend. The change in holiday spending is also happening across all adult age groups, but it is most dramatic among Americans age 55 or older. As they try to rebuild their recession-ridden 401(k) plans and other retirement funds, only 61% of older Americans are planning to spend $300 or more on gifts this year, compared to 71%, which older Americans last year said they typically spend. Source: Survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of ING DIRECT, August 19, 2009. Website: www.ingdirect.com.