Poll: Most Alabama holiday shoppers cutting back

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Most Alabama holiday shoppers say they will spend less on gifts this year and avoid debt.

A Press-Register/University of South Alabama poll found that nearly three-quarters of those surveyed last week would not ring up debt.

Fifty-two percent said they would spend less. Forty percent said they would spend about the same.

Only 4 percent said they would increase their shopping.

The poll had a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

Reduced spending is expected because of the nation's economic slump.

According to the Alabama Retail Association, sales grew by only one-half of 1 percent between December 2006 and 2007.

Growth averaged 5.9 percent a year between 2003 and 2006.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-11-24-08 1126EST