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February 05, 2012My wife and I have already bought both of our families' Valentine's Day cards, chocolate boxes and that doesn't include gifts for our cats and the gifts I will give my "better half.
This year, National Retail Federation predict Valentine's Day shopping will put a smile on the face of business owners to the tune of about $17.6 billion – that's a record.
According to NRF's 2012 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, the average person will spend about $126.03, up 8.5 percent over last year's $116.21 and it's also the highest in the survey's 10-year history.
Click here to download the complete survey results.
Total spending is expected to reach $17.6 billion nationwide.
The survey was conducted by BIGinsight to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Valentine's Day. The poll asked 9,317 consumers their intentions during January 4 to 11, 2012. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.
"As one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year, it's encouraging that consumers are still exhibiting the desire to spend on discretionary gift items, a strong indication our economy continues to move in the right direction," said Matthew Shay, NRF president, in a news release. "Anticipating high foot traffic in the coming weeks, retailers have replenished their inventories and will entice eager shoppers with great deals on everything from special menu items at restaurants to clothing to flowers and, of course, chocolates."
Men are likely to spend the most with jewelry and gift cards at the top of the gift ideas, the survey found.
The average person plans to spend $74.12 on their spouse or significant other, up from $68.98 last year. Consumers plan to spend about $25.25 on their children, parents or other family members and $6.92 on friends.
Valentine's Day is a great day for pet owners to show their furry friends just how much they mean: the average American will spend about $4.52 on their pets.
Men will spend $168.74 on clothing, jewelry, greeting cards and more this year - nearly twice as much as women who are expected to spend an average of $85.76.
Consumers will spend $1.8 billion on flowers, $1.5 billion on candy, $1.4 billion on clothing, and $1.1 billion on gift cards, the survey revealed.
And don't forget culinary aphrodisiacs.
For restaurants, a spike in reservations has flooded local restaurants for Tuesday, Feb. 14 and the weekend, particularly Saturday, Feb. 11. Last year, the National Restaurant Association estimated that 70 million Americans would dine out on or around Valentine's Day. That number will likely stay the same or be much higher this year.
Love is in the air and the economy appears to be improving for many Americans.
Behind birthdays and Mother's Day, Valentine's Day is the third most popular occasion or holiday to dine out, the National Restaurant Association says.
Whether it's a box of chocolates, or a bottle of wine with a romantic dinner, Valentine's Day gives a much-needed boost to the bottom line and the economy.