(IDEX Online) – U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average $143.56 on Valentine’s Day with 55 percent of the population celebrating this year, an increase from last year’s $136.57, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Total spending is expected to reach $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion last year. The numbers are the second-highest in the survey’s 15-year history, topped only by the record figures of $146.84 billion and $19.7 billion seen in 2016.
Those celebrating Valentine’s Day plan to spend $4.7 billion on jewelry (given by 19 percent), $3.7 billion on an evening out (35 percent), $2 billion on flowers (36 percent), $1.9 billion on clothing (17 percent), $1.5 billion on gift cards/gift certificates (15 percent) and $894 million on greeting cards (46 percent). More consumers plan on purchasing candy this year, with 55 percent (up from 50 percent) saying they will give gifts of candy for a total of $1.8 billion.
This year’s survey found consumers plan to spend an average $88.98 on their significant other/spouse ($12.1 billion), $25.29 on other family members such as children or parents ($3.5 billion), $7.26 on children’s classmates/teachers ($991 million), $7.19 on friends ($982 million), $5.50 on pets ($751 million) and $4.79 on co-workers ($654 million). Consumers aged 25-34 will be the biggest spenders, with an average spend of $202.76.
More than one-third of consumers plan to shop at department stores (35 percent), with 32 percent at discount store, 29 percent online, 19 percent at specialty stores, 17 percent at florists), and 14 percent at local small businesses.
The survey, which asked 7,277 consumers about their Valentine’s Day plans, was conducted January 3-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points, the NRF added. ...