The ice storm last week took out more than power lines and treetops. It’ll also cut into holiday spending, a Spokane research firm predicts.
“I think the storm left people feeling a little poor,” said Bill Robinson, of Robinson Research.
A survey by Robinson’s firm found that holiday spending plans changed after the storm hit, with anticipated spending dropping about $160 per household.
The storm appeared to hit men’s pocketbooks harder than women’s. Men polled before the storm said their household would spend an average of $782. When the same question was asked after the storm, the average fell to $619, a decline of 21 percent.
Women polled before the storm said they’d spend $637. That number dropped to a post-storm average of $587, an 8 percent decline.
North Spokane resident Tammy Henderson said the survey results held true for her family. They lost power for three days and spent about $1,000 on emergency supplies.
“We spent money on a generator and camping equipment,” Henderson said. “We’ll probably slow down.”
Robinson’s survey also shows that only 15 percent of the people polled planned to spend more money this year than last. About 27 percent said they’d spend less, and 51 percent said they’d spend the same.
Robinson Research polled 400 Spokane County residents, half of them men. The margin of error is 4.9 percent.
The first phase of the survey took place from Nov. 15 to 18. The second phase was Nov. 23 to 26.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: Profile of holiday shoppers