Holiday shoppers surveyed by the National Retail Federation plan to spend an average of $737.95, down 2% from what they spent last holiday season. The Federation says that consumers remain worried about the economy. Even so, the NRF forecasts that overall holiday sales will be up a slight 4% over last year, to $602 billion.

Some highlights (or lowlights) of the survey:

  • Shoppers say they will cut back on “self-gifting”, impulse buys of good deals. They’ll still spend an average $129.62, but that would be down from $140.43 last year.
  • 41% will begin holiday shopping before Halloween, most say because they like to spread out their budget.
  • Internet retailing continues to grow. Shoppers plan to make 39.5% of their purchases online, a record high for the survey.
  • Clothing and accessories are making a comeback: 51% say they would like to receive those items as gifts, the highest level in the survey since 2006. But gift cards top the wish list, at 59%.

For more on the holiday spending forecast for 2013 , check this infographic from with data from Prosper Insights & Analytics, the National Retail Federation’s survey partner, or visit the NRF website.