Consumer holiday spending to average $681 in 2005

Holiday shoppers will spend $681 on average this season, compared with $655 in 2004, NPD Group predicted. 24% of consumers surveyed said rising gas and oil prices would have a significant impact on their holiday spending. The Internet will continue to be a popular shopping destination, with 37% of respondents planning to buy goods online, 67% said they would head to discount stores such as Target and Wal-Mart Stores.