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nrf-halloween-oct-2011.JPGThe average person will spend $72.31 on Halloween decorations, costumes and candy in 2011, up 9% from $66.28 last year, according to data released in October 2011 by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and BIGresearch. Results of NRF’s 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Surveys indicate total Halloween spending is expected to reach $6.86 billion, a healthy 18% increase from $5.8 billion in 2010.

Halloween Celebrants Increase

Seven in 10 Americans (69%) plan to celebrate Halloween, up 8% from 64% last year and the most in NRF’s nine-year survey history. This increase in celebration includes more people planning to dress in costume (44%, up 10% from 40% in 2010), throw or attend a party (34% compared to 33% last year) and visit a haunted house (23%, up 10% from 21% in 2010) .

In addition, half of consumers will decorate their home/yard and 15% will dress their pets in costume. Other traditional celebratory activities include handing out candy (73.5%), carving a pumpkin (48%) and taking children trick-or-treating (33%).

Costume, Decoration Spending Up

With celebrations increasing, spending is expected to slightly increase across the board as well. The average consumer is expected to spend $26.52 on costumes. This year, Americans will spend $1 billion on children’s costumes, up 19% from $840 million last year, and $1.21 billion on adult costumes, up 22% from $990 million last year.

When it comes to decorations, more people this year than in the survey’s history will buy life-size skeletons, inflatable pumpkins and fake cobwebs, spending an average of $19.79. NRF research indicates spending on Halloween d?cor is second only to spending on Christmas decorations. Festive celebrants will also buy candy ($21.05) and greeting cards ($4.96).

Economy Scares Consumers

Nearly one-third (32%) of consumers say the state of the US economy will have a restraining impact on their Halloween plans. To compensate, most say they will try to spend less overall (87%). Others will make a costume instead of purchasing one (19%), use last year’s costume (17%) and buy less candy (40%.)

Harris: Younger, Women Rate Halloween Higher

While Christmas and Thanksgiving are the top two holidays with American adults of all age groups and both genders, results of a Harris Poll released in October 2011 show notable differences in how different demographic groups rank their third- through fifth-favorite holidays. For Echo Boomers (age 18-34), Generation X (35-46) and women, Halloween comes in third.

However, Baby Boomers (47-65), Matures (66 and older) and men rank the Fourth of July third. The Fourth of July ranks fourth with Echo Boomers and Gen X, and fifth with women. Easter makes an appearance in fourth place with Matures and women and in fifth place with the two youngest demographics. Neither men nor Baby Boomers rank Easter as a top five holiday, instead preferring to celebrate New Year’s (fifth place for both groups).

About the Data: The surveys were conducted for NRF by BIGresearch. The poll of 9,374 consumers was conducted from September 6-14, 2011.

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