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’Tis the Season to Treat Yo’ Self

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Shoppers are buying more for themselves this holiday season, says a new survey.

Holiday shopper looks at herself in a department store mirror Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

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Don’t feel too bad if you blew your Black Friday budget on a new coat and an iPhone X for yourself instead of gifts for the in-laws this year — in 2017, more and more of us are putting our own names at the top of our holiday shopping lists, according to a new survey from NPD Group.

The research firm found that 19 percent of shoppers “definitely” plan to spend more on themselves this season, and an additional 40 percent might do so. As for what they’re buying, popular choices include winter clothing, boots, activewear, and electronics. All of these relatively big-ticket items could bolster sales for retailers that have struggled to meet revenue targets throughout the year due to lower foot traffic and increased competition from online heavyweights.

To some extent, the surge in self-gifting is a good sign: Consumer confidence is at a 17-year high, unemployment is at a 17-year low, and the economy is growing at a rapid clip of more than 3 percent annually, the fastest rate the country has seen in three years, all of which tend to point to more spending overall.

If you’re not feeling all that optimistic about the future right now, however, you’re not alone, and that sentiment might also be figuring into this season’s spending patterns. GlobalData retail managing director Neil Saunders told CNBC that while some of the trend can be chalked up to positive economic factors, “some of it is down to the fact that the external environment is difficult socially and politically, and people who feel this think it is important to indulge themselves.”

Sometimes, self-care can come in the form of a new sweater — no gift wrap required.