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Valentine’s Day Consumers Remain Cautious [AUDIO]

Love is in the air, but consumers aren’t quite ready to shell out the big bucks for their loved ones.

Ralph Orlowski, Getty Images

That’s according to the 2013 Valentine’s Day spending survey conducted by BIGinsight. It shows only a slight increase in expected sales this year with the average person planning to spend $130.97 on candy, cards, gifts and more, which is up from $126.03 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $18.6 billion.

“Fresh off of a holiday season that actually took an unexpected turn in the downward direction and still faced with an economic picture that doesn’t paint too optimistic of a look, consumers are going to be very frugal with their budgets this Valentine’s Day and that’s not unlike what we expect to see for the rest of the holidays at least for the first half of the year,” said Kathy Grannis with the National Retail Federation (NRF). “Spending is expected to be up only four dollars over last year, so there’s definitely evidence of a more cautious, conservative Valentine’s Day shopper this year.”

According to the survey, more than half of gift givers, 51 percent, will buy candy. Another third, 36.6 percent, will give flowers and others will treat their special someone to jewelry, 19.7 percent. An additional 15.6 percent will buy clothing and 15 percent plan to buy gift cards.

Men will spend significantly more than women this year, spending an average of $175.61 on jewelry, flowers, a romantic evening out and more. Women will spend about $88. “Men usually hold the majority of the budget when it comes to spending on Valentine’s Day,” said Grannis. “Apparently men have a lot more people in their lives to take care of and we usually do see them spend about double what women spend.”

“Valentine’s Day in recent years has increasingly become just as focused on family, friends, co-workers and even pets as it has with couples in decades past,” said Grannis. “About 20 percent of people this year want to buy specifically for their pets, which is the most in the survey’s history.”

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