By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There’s nothing spooky for retailers about their Halloween spending forecast. Americans are more willing to spend on tricks and treats this year than last, and 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds that could provide stores some clues about the upcoming holiday season.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average American is expected to spend about $72 on Halloween costumes, candy and decorations. That is up $6 from what was spent in 2010, ringing up total sales of $6.86 billion.

Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation says, “Most people will spend the majority of their budget on costumes. The average person will spend about $25 on costumes for themselves, their children and their pets. We also see the average person spending about $20 on candy, and $20 on decorations.

Still, a third of consumers say the economy will impact how much they spend, and some will moderate spending by making a costume, wearing last year’s costume, or buying less candy.

Halloween is also an opportunity for retailers to gain insight into how consumers will spend during the holidays, the biggest retail season of the year. Davis says, “What types of advertising is working? What are they buying for kids versus buying for themselves? Are they buying more discretionary items or are they buying necessities? Those are all trends that retailers are trying to get a better understanding of as we head into Christmas.”

Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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