Children in the United States will spend an estimated $1.4 billion this Christmas - more than ever before, says a Texas A&M University marketing professor. Dr. James McNeal, who specializes in studying the income and spending patterns of children, says: ``Children always spend a disproportionately large amount of their money at Christmas just as adults do. But this year it will be even more because they have more to spend.''

His research finds that children ages four to 12 have around 30 percent more in savings than last year, and are earmarking some of that money for Christmas. They have an average income of $4.42 per week, altogether receiving about $8.6 billion a year.

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