POSTED: Monday, December 12, 2011 - 6:51pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 2:19am
You may see a few extra gifts under the tree this year.
People are spending more money this holiday season and that could mean a boost to the economy for 2012.
"The boys are getting older and their toys have been getting more expensive," Stephney said.
Retired ft. bliss soldier Larry Stephney was out shopping for his twin boys today. He was not paying attention to price tags, in fact he says he is spending more money on holiday shopping this year," Stephney said.
"After going through not buying and having the down feeling or bad feeling of not getting what you wanted to buy for someone this year they're going to go out and get what they want versus what they can afford," Stephney said.
Larry says he is not the only one dishing out more cash this holiday. He lives on post and says military families want to make it a special Christmas.
"To see soldiers coming back after being gone all this time and being thankful for them being back people are more so inclined to take advantage of the time they have now with their loved ones versus waiting for the economy to get better," Stephney said.
UTEP economics professor, Tom Fullerton, says El Paso is part of a national trend.
"The amount of purchases being made are probably sufficient to allow holiday sales to be 5% greater than what they were a year ago," Fullerton said.
"Consumers are feeling more confident, they're willing to make those big ticket purchases that they weren't willing to make in 2010 or 2009," Fullerton said.
This means good news for the local and U.S. economy.
"It will allow a lot of retailers who otherwise might face prospect of temporarily or permanently shutting down to remain in business in the first quarter," Fullerton said.