Consumer spending on Valentine’s Day in the US is expected to drop for the first time in three years, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. In total, consumers will spend an estimated $18.2 billion on Valentine’s Day this year, down from $19.7 billion in 2016. This equates to an average of $136.57 per person, down from last year’s record-high $146.84 per person.
Not only will consumers spend less on the holiday, but fewer people plan to celebrate in general, compared with previous years. Only 54% of respondents told NRF they plan on celebrating this year—a drop of 9 percentage points from 2007.
Those consumers who do plan to celebrate are aware that—as is the case for other shopping-oriented holidays—good deals are on the horizon. As NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay explained in the company’s press release: “Consumers will find that retailers recognize their customers are looking for the best deals and will offer good bargains, just as they did during the holiday season.”
The largest shares of gift spending will go toward jewelry ($4.3 billion, down from $4.5 billion in 2016) and evenings out ($3.8 billion, down from $4.5 billion in 2016), though the most popular gifts will be candy and greeting cards, which will be given by almost half of consumers.