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PORTLAND The Black Friday rush should be just a bit calmer this year, according to Nielsen, the group known for tabulating TV ratings.

In its annual holiday spending forecast, Nielsen found interest in Black Friday shopping is waning. The study showed only 13 percent of those surveyed planned to visit a store that day, down from 17 percent last year.

There will still be big crowds lining up at midnight on Nov. 29. But with more big-box stores opening on Thanksgiving, the starting line has changed.

And this year, the finish line is not as far away (only 25 total shopping days before Christmas), so retailers are doing anything and everything to get shoppers in the door right away.

Consumer confidence and political uncertainly should also play a role.

University of Portland associate dean Brian Adams said people will be wondering, When is the next crisis going to come in? Is it going to be the debt ceiling in January and February that we're going to be dealing and haggling over?

When those discussions become protracted, it tends to weigh on us and what we think about the future, Adams said.

This year nearly half of holiday shoppers surveyed said they would do their shopping online. That's up from 30 percent last year.

For shoppers, it's all about price, convenience and free shipping. Spending is expected to increase overall just about two percent over last year.

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