U.S. consumers look to spend more this holiday season

'Tis going to be the season for spending south of the border, or at least, experts believe so.

With the U.S. economy strong and consumer confidence at an 18-year high, many households appear to be planning to boost their holiday spending.
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New research from California-based ad firm OpenX suggests about a quarter of consumers plan to spend more on gifts than they did last year, while 56% expect to spend about the same.

Millennials are leading the spending charge, with 41% saying they'll spend more than last year. The average amount that consumers across all age groups expect to spend is $819, with the average for millennials at $861.

The OpenX research, based on a Harris Poll survey of more than 2,000 adult shoppers, also shows that many consumers aren't waiting to start holiday gift shopping.

About half of consumers have either already started buying presents, or will get going between October and the long U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend in November, which includes big sales-push days Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, the survey shows 64% would prefer to shop when convenient for them, not when retailers want them to.