Americans Expected To Spend $18.4 Billion This Easter

By Nicole Brewer and Kristina Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–From chocolate bunnies and egg-filled baskets to sweet stuffed animals and your Sunday best–how will you spend Easter Sunday?

“With family of course,” said Sean Mealey of Princeton, New Jersey.

“Easter egg hunt in the morning,” said Philadelphia resident Cara Speiss.

“And a big dinner,” added Rich Poweson of South Jersey.

“For us, ham, turkey and pasta,” said Jordan Mealey of Princeton.

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“Most consumers have almost an entire extra month to shop for Easter this year, and by the time the holiday comes the weather should be significantly warmer than last Easter,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

As we know, holiday traditions come at a cost. So, how much will the average person shell out?

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), those celebrating will spend an average $152 per person, up 4% from last year.

“Is it mostly on candy?” asked Jordan Mealey.

Not quite. While $2.6 billion will go to satisfy our sweet tooth, another $2.9 billion will be spent on gifts. And at $5.8 billion, food is by far the biggest expense.

“Easter continues to be a traditional holiday for consumers of all ages, especially young families who are planning to spend a bit more for this celebration,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow added. “With the later timing of Easter, we will see more consumers shopping for special deals, especially on apparel and decorations.”

“That makes sense. My family likes to eat,” said Speiss.

You can’t forget about clothing, which accounts for $3.3 billion of the total tab.

“Anything that’s floral,” suggested Mealey. “That’s what I look for.”

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Speaking of flowers, we spend about $1.2 billion on blooms, followed by $1.1 billion on decorations and $788 million on greeting cards.

Altogether, Americans are expected to spend $18.4 billion, an all-time high.

The reason?

This year’s late date, which gives consumers a few more, warmer weeks to shop.

But, is it worth it?

“I think it’s definitely worth it, but you can do that without spending money,” said Poweson.

“If that’s my excuse to do a little more shopping before Sunday, I’m in,” said Mealey.

The NRF says consumers plan to celebrate the holiday in a variety of ways. Sixty-one percent will visit family and friends, 57 percent will cook a holiday meal, 52 percent will go to church and 17 percent are planning to go to a restaurant.

The survey included over 7,400 consumers.

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