WASHINGTON — Easter spending is expected to total $18.2 billion this year, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
A total of 81% of Americans will celebrate the holiday and spend an average of $150 per person, the survey found. That is down from last year’s record $152 per person average and $18.4 billion total, but it will still rank as the second-highest spending level ever for the holiday.
“Despite a modest drop, the Easter forecast is still very positive and nearly as high as last year’s record,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumer spending remains healthy both for this holiday and this spring, and that paints an optimistic picture for the U.S. economy in the year ahead.”
According to the survey, consumers will spend $5.7 billion on food (purchased by 87% of shoppers), $3.2 billion on clothing (48%), $2.9 billion on gifts (61%), $2.6 billion on candy (89%), $1.3 billion on flowers (39%), $1.1 billion on decorations (42%) and $780 million on greeting cards (46%).
In preparation for the Easter holiday, 59% of consumers will shop at discount stores, 46%will visit department stores, 28% will make purchases online, 25% will go to a specialty store and 25% will go to a small business or local store. Among smartphone users, 30% will research products or compare prices on their devices while 19% will use their phones to make a purchase.
“With more than three-quarters of consumers saying they will celebrate Easter this year, the holiday continues to be a traditional staple for Americans,” Prosper Insights executive vice president of strategy Phil Rist said. “We continue to see consumers across ages, genders, regions and disposable incomes participate in this holiday.”
Consumers intend to celebrate Easter in several ways: 60% will visit family and friends, 58% will cook a holiday meal, 51% will go to church and 17% will go to a restaurant. Other findings: 35% of consumers will participate in an Easter egg hunt and 16% will open gifts. In addition to traditional holiday events, some consumers will pursue more leisurely activities: 45% plan to watch television, 11% will shop online, 9% will shop in a store and 8% will go to a movie.
The survey, which asked 7,737 consumers about their Easter plans, was conducted between March 2 and March 14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.