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Consumer spending for the upcoming Easter holiday (April 4, 2010) should mildly improve from 2009, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and BIGresearch.

The NRF expects average Easter spending per person of $118.60, up 1.7% from 2009. Total spending is expected to reach $13.03 billion, a 2.3% increase from $12.73 billion in 2009.

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Candy, Gift Spending on Upswing
In good news for children who get Easter baskets, the average person will spend $17.29 on candy, a 4.5% jump from average per person candy spending $16.55 last year. Gift spending is expected to rise about 5%, from $17.30 to $18.16.

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Other holiday purchases include clothing ($19.03), food ($37.45), flowers ($7.84), decorations ($6.34) and greeting cards ($6.30).

A Joyful Holiday for Discount Retailers
Discount retailers appear set to have a joyful Easter this year, as 64.8% of Americans will perform Easter shopping at discount stores in 2010. Other retail verticals being used by consumers making Easter purchases include department stores (33.2%), specialty stores such as florists or gift/greeting card stores (22%), online (13.1%), specialty clothing stores (7%) and catalogs (3.7%).

Young Adults Buy Most Gifts
While 25-34-year-olds will be spending the most this Easter at $136.79, more 18-24-year-olds will buy gifts. Nearly three-quarters (71.3%) of young adults ages 18-24 will buy gifts this year, compared to 65.8% of 25-34-year-olds and 65.5% of 35-44-year-olds. Young adults will spend an average of $125.85 on Easter merchandise, followed by 35-44 year olds ($124.66), 45-54 year olds ($117.54), 55-64 year olds ($106.82) and 65 and older ($98.72).

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BIGresearch analysts suggest that young adults who live out of state for college or a career feel compelled to bring gifts when they come home to celebrate Easter.

2010 Holiday Spending Varies
Holiday spending in 2010 has been varied so far, according to previous research from the NRF and BIGresearch. Total spending earlier this month on St. Patrick’s Day was forecast to be $3.44 billion, up 4.5% from $3.29 billion in 2009. However, spending on the February 14 Valentine’s Day holiday was predicted to total $14.1 billion this year, a 4% decrease from $14.7 billion in 2009.

About the Survey: The NRF 2010 Easter Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Easter holiday. The survey was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch. The poll of 8,281 consumers was conducted from March 2-10, 2010.

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