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Valentine’s Day Spending Up Slightly [AUDIO]

Coming on the heels of a healthy, yet modest holiday shopping season and given the fact that many Americans are pinching their pennies, consumers are not quite ready to splurge on gifts for their loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

Chocolatier Prepares For Valentine's Day
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Valentine’s Day spending survey, 54 percent of Americans will celebrate with their loved ones this year, down from 60 percent in 2013. The average person plans to spend $133.91, up from $130.97 in 2013.

Because fewer people will be celebrating, total spending is expected to be down to $17.3 billion from nearly $18 billion last year.

“Fewer people will celebrate the holiday overall this year, but of those who are planning to, they’ll still be spending close to $134 which shows that Americans are looking to keep their budgets in check, but certainly don’t want to forget the holiday itself,” said Kathy Grannis, spokesperson for the National Retail Federation. “The majority of consumers look at Valentine’s Day as a way to treat their loved ones to a night out or new apparel or jewelry. But, this year, the traditional gifts will be important. That includes the candy, the flowers and the gift cards.”

According to the survey, nearly half, or 48.7 percent, will buy candy, a third will give flowers and more than half, or 51.2 percent, will send greeting cards. Jewelry spending will total $3.9 billion as 19 percent plan to buy their significant other something sparkly. Spending on a night out is expected to reach $3.5 billion.

Men will spend an average of $108.38 on gifts for their significant others this year, twice as much as women who will spend about $49.41. Couples won’t be the only ones spending. People will also show their appreciation for family members, friends  teachers and colleagues. Pets also won’t be forgotten as 19.4 percent will spend an average of $5.51 on their animals.

“Men typically always spend more than women because of the cost of the gifts they usually end up buying. Flowers, jewelry and chocolates can add up,” Grannis said. “Consumers have also recently gotten into the trend of celebrating their pets, so it’s not surprising that some consumers will buy their pet something very special like a bone or treat or something they know they’ll end up loving.”

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