Halloween Doesn't Look Too Scary For Sales

Even if the economy is saying "Boo" to consumers, retailers aren't expecting it to interfere with a little holiday like Halloween: The National Retail Federation is predicting total Halloween spending to reach $5.07 billion, which means the average person will spend $64.82 on the holiday compared to $59.06 one year ago.

That includes costumes ($23.33), candy ($19.84), and increasingly, home décor ($17.73, reports the NRF, which conducted its "Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey" with BIG Research, interviewing nearly 9,000 consumers. And the average Halloween shopper is also likely to spend $3.92 on greeting cards.

"Halloween is often a time for consumers to set aside their real concerns to focus on the imaginary," the researchers report. "As news about the economy floods the airwaves, many Americans want to take a break from reality to have a bit of fun."

Overall, the survey finds that 72.9% of people plan to pass out candy this Halloween, 43.3% will carve pumpkins, and 28.3% say they will either throw or attend a party.

Americans spend an estimated $19.3 billion on seasonal decorations each year, reports Unity Marketing. And while Christmas decorations are a large part of that spending, Halloween and Fourth of July have also emerged as big holidays.

Part of that has been the evolution of Halloween as the neighborhood "meet and greet holiday of the year," says the National Confectioners Association.

Instead of a family focus, "Halloween is the holiday that gives Americans an excuse to meet their neighbors," it reports. Its polls have found that 63% of consumers say socializing and handing candy out to kids are their favorite holiday traditions.

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