Twin Cities' residents said they will fork out about $850 for holiday spending this year, down from $868 last year, according to the annual St. Thomas Holiday Spending Survey.

"The responses are are substantially  more optimistic than those recorded six or seven years ago, in the depths of the recession," said Dave Brennan, one of the researchers of the study at St. Thomas' Opus College of Business.

Twin Cities' shoppers seem a bit less optimistic than national trends. Deloitte & Touche are predicting a 3.5 to 4 percent increase, the National Retail Federation a 3.7 percent increase and Nielsen a 1.9 percent increase in national hoiliday spending. 

Local shoppers plan to spend their holiday dollars on:

1. Gift certificates (#1 in 2014), 2. Cash (#3 last year), 3. Books (#7 last year), 4. Clothing/accessories (#2 last year), 5. Entertainment (#8 last year), 6. Travel (#4 last year), 7. Toys and hobbies (#5 last year), 8. Sporting goods (#9 last year), 9. Jewelry (#14 last year) and 10. Cell phones (#10 last year). Furnishings, consumer electronics, computers and videogames completed the list.

Mall of America, Rosedale and Southdale remained the top three malls for people planned to visit for holiday shopping with Maplewood Mall, Burnsville Mall and Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan each moving up. 

Asked where they plan to do most of their shopping, survey responders out Rosedale in the number one spot again. In the 14 years that St. Thomas has conducted the survey, Mall of America topped Rosedale as the "most shopped" list three times.

The survey included 307 online responses from households in the 13 county metro area.

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