Fewer people celebrating Valentine’s Day but those who do are spending more
Americans are expected to spend a record amount on Valentine’s Day this year despite a years-long decrease in the percentage of people celebrating the holiday, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Those surveyed said they would spend an average $161.96. That’s up 13% from last year’s $143.56 and easily tops the previous record of $146.84 set in 2016. Total spending is expected to be $20.7 billion, which is an increase of 6% over last year’s $19.6 billion and breaks the previous record of $19.7 billion, also set in 2016.
The spending increases come even though only 51% of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, down from 55% last year and a high of 63 percent in 2007. It is unclear why the number of consumers celebrating has trended downward over the past 12 years, but spending, while varying with the economy, has generally trended up. The lowest spending during the period was $102.50 in 2009 during the Great Recession.
Of the $18.40 increase in average spending, only $4.26 comes from spending on spouses and significant others, which is expected to total $93.24. Consumers said they would spend $29.87 on other family members, up $4.58; $9.78 on friends, up $2.59; $8.63 on children’s classmates or teachers, up $1.37; $7.78 on co-workers, up $2.99; $6.94 on pets, up $1.44 and $5.72 on others, up $1.17.
As in each year of the survey, men are the biggest spenders at $229.54, up 20% from last year. That’s more than double the $97.77 women said they would spend, which is down 1%, and is within the survey’s margin of error.
The survey of 7,384 adults 18 and older was conducted January 2-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.
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