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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.

Updated 11 mins ago - Sports

MLB enters first lockout since '95 as deal expires

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (L) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is in a management lockout — the first work stoppage since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.

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