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Reproduced from the Conference Board, Nielsen; Chart: Axios Visuals

Consumers are planning to pare back the most spending on vacations and travel during the holiday season — another possible concern for the services sector, according to a survey by the Conference Board and Nielsen provided first to Axios.

The big picture: Overall, consumer spending this holiday season is expected to be roughly in line with last year, the Conference Board estimates.

  • They'll spend an average of $673 on gifts this year, versus the $675 they were estimated to spend in 2019.

Why it matters: The retail sector has been hit hard. They are hoping consumers will open up their wallets during holiday season, so companies can recoup lost revenue from the onset of the pandemic.

What they're saying: The survey results for welcome news "at a time when consumer confidence remains below pre-pandemic levels, unemployment is elevated, and the economy appears to be losing momentum heading into the final stretch of 2020," Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, says in a release.

Of note: The pandemic is expected to pushed reliance on e-commerce for gift shopping into overdrive.

  • 52% said they planned to do at least half of their shopping online, while roughly 42% said the same last year.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech is outsourcing its hardest content moderation decisions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Faced with the increasingly daunting task of consistent content moderation at scale, Big Tech companies are tossing their hardest decisions to outsiders, hoping to deflect some of the pressure they face for how they govern their platforms.

Why it matters: Every policy change, enforcement action or lack thereof prompts accusations that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making politically motivated decisions to either be too lax or too harsh. Ceding responsibility to others outside the company may be the future of content moderation if it works.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.

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