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The economics of Valentine’s Day

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The recent rise in consumer spending looks like it will continue this Valentine’s Day, when Americans may end up spending record amounts on their loved ones.

Here’s the forecast from the National Retail Federation, which calls the surge in expected consumer spending “a strong indication our economy continues to move in the right direction.”


Love may not cost a thing, but consumers this year are set to spoil their friends, family and loved ones this Valentine’s Day in a very big way. According to NRF’s 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGinsight, the average person celebrating the holiday will shell out $126.03, up 8.5 percent over last year’s $116.21 and the highest in the survey’s 10-year history. Total spending is expected to reach $17.6 billion.

And here’s who Americans are spending that money on:

Consumers’ “better halves” will shell out the most on their partners, with the average person planning to spend $74.12 on their spouse or significant other, up from $68.98 last year. Additionally, consumers will spend and average of $25.25 on their children, parents or other family members and $6.92 on friends....the average person will spend about $4.52 on their pets.

(h/t Ben White)

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