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Consumer Trends
Easter spending expected to be second highest in NRF survey history
For immediate release
March 22, 2018

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“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.”
Matthew Shay
NRF President and CEO

WASHINGTON – Easter spending is expected to total $18.2 billion this year, almost on par from a record $18.4 billion in 2017 but still the second-highest level on record, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. A total of 81 percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday and spend an average of $150 per person, down from last year’s previous record of $152.

“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 percent of shoppers), $3.2 billion on clothing (48 percent), $2.9 billion on gifts (61 percent), $2.6 billion on candy (89 percent), $1.3 billion on flowers (39 percent), $1.1 billion on decorations (42 percent) and $780 million on greeting cards (46 percent).

In preparation for the Easter holiday, 59 percent of consumers will shop at discount stores, 46 percent will visit department stores, 28 percent will make purchases online, 25 percent will go to a specialty store and 25 percent will go to a small business or local store. Among smartphone users, 30 percent will research products or compare prices on their devices while 19 percent 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 percent will visit family and friends, 58 percent will cook a holiday meal, 51 percent will go to church and 17 percent will go to a restaurant. The Easter Bunny is expected to have a busy holiday season: 35 percent of consumers will participate in an Easter egg hunt and 16 percent will open gifts. In addition to traditional holiday events, some consumers will pursue more leisurely activities: 45 percent will watch TV, 11 percent will shop online, 9 percent will shop in a store and 8 percent will go to a movie.

The survey, which asked 7,737 consumers about their Easter plans, was conducted March 2-14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & Analytics is a global leader in consumer intent data serving the financial services, marketing technology, and retail industries. We provide global authoritative market information on U.S. and China consumers via curated insights and analytics. By integrating a variety of data including economic, behavioral and attitudinal data, Prosper helps companies accurately predict consumers’ future behavior to help identify market behaviors, optimize marketing efforts, and improve the effectiveness of demand generation campaigns. www.ProsperInsights.com

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.