Economy Watch: Incomes Up, Holiday Spending Too? Total planned spending for this holiday season is estimated to be second only to 2015's record total spending, according to the National Retail Federation. Nov072016 By D.C. Stribling Nov 07, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Subscribe to MHN National News Economy Watch Research Center Economy Watch Job growth in October might have been in the middle range, but employers are finally increasing workers’ pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the month, average hourly earnings for all employees on private payrolls rose by 10 cents to $25.92, following an 8-cent increase in September. The October bump was the largest monthly increase since the recession.Year-over-year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.8 percent, which puts the increase above the tepid rate of inflation, which has been only 1.5 percent over the same period. But does that mean American workers are going to increase their spending, especially as the all-important (for retailers) holiday sales season gets under way, or are they already, depending on who’s doing the calculating? Spending is expected to be healthy this year, if not record-breaking. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey recently conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, consumers plan to spend an average of $936 during the holiday shopping season this year. Spending will includes gifts for others, self-spending, food, flowers, decorations and greeting cards, and this year total planned spending is second only to the record total spending in 2015, at $953. Consumers will shop around, the NRF said, splitting their time almost evenly between three top destinations: department stores (57 percent), online (also 57 percent) and discount stores (56 percent). The survey found 45 percent plan to visit a grocery store/supermarket, 34 percent will shop at clothing stores, 27 percent at electronics stores and 23 percent at small or local businesses. Ten percent of those shopping plan to visit outlet stores, a new category added to the survey this year.