The 85 million households in the United States will have spent more than $25 billion on Christmas gifts this year - an average of $300 per family - according to the Conference Board.
A survey of 5,000 households conducted for the business research organization found that 30 percent of all US families planned to spend more than $400 on gifts this Christmas, with 35 percent spending between $200 and $400 and another 35 percent spending under $200.
''Latest retail sales trends and continuing high levels of consumer confidence suggest that Christmas business this year will top the 1983 figure by 6 to 7 percent,'' says Fabian Linden, director of the Conference Board's consumer research center.
By region, families in New England will apparently spend the most - an average of $342 on holiday gifts. Next comes the Mid-Atlantic region ($319). Lowest spending will apparently be in the region made up of Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri. Income makes a difference, too: The survey shows that while those earning $25,000 and more will spend an average of $380 this Christmas, families earning between $10,000 and $15,000 will spend $247.