WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. consumers on average will spend a record $939 for gifts over the holiday season, and 26 percent of households plan to use the Internet for at least some of their shopping, up from 14 percent a year ago, a research group said on Friday.

If shoppers spend as much as they say, it would represent a 1.15 percent increase over the average $928 spent in 1998, according to a nationwide survey of 1,100 adults ."Consumers tell us these are very good times financially and they just don't know if things can get any better," Dick Bennett, president of American Research Group Inc., said in a statement.