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Boo! Consumers not easily scared
NRF: Spending on Halloween expected to hit $3.3 billion, kicking off holiday spending season.
September 28, 2005: 12:51 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Retailers are in for a treat this Halloween season.

Consumers are expected to spend $3.3 billion on Halloween, up 5.4 percent from last year, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.

That's a far cry from the estimated $435.3 billion retailers are expected to rake in during the winter holidays, but it marks the start of the spending frenzy.

"For many retailers, Halloween represents the big kick-off to the fourth quarter," said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin in a statement.

"Consumers are pulling out all the stops when it comes to decorating their homes and yards and wearing elaborate costumes, making Halloween an important holiday for retailers," she said.

Young-at-heart

Although many consumers may be feeling the pain of rising gas and energy prices, they're still indulging in Halloween shopping this holiday season.

More than half of consumers intend to celebrate the holiday, and average spending on Halloween-related merchandise will reach $48.48, the survey said. That's a rise of about 11 percent from last year.

Many plan to buy candy -- with the average person spending $17.09 on sweets -- as well as costumes, decorations and greeting cards.

Young adults will drive the spree, with those in the 18-24 age range spending 30 percent more this year than they did last year, bringing their average bill to $50.75.

Spending by those aged 25-34 also is expected to outpace the national average, rising 13.9 percent to $62.45, the survey said.

The NRF polled about 8,100 consumers for its survey.

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