Easter shoppers set to spend $13 billion

By Chavon Sutton, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- It looks like Easter will put a little spring in shopper's steps, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Consumers are expected to spend about $13 billion this Easter, the 5th biggest spending season of the year, according to the National Retail Federation, a retail trade group. That's up about 2% from last year.

The group's 2010 Easter Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey found that holiday shoppers plan to spend $118.60 on average this year, compared to $116.59 a year ago.

"While increases are very slight, the fact that people are out there willing to spend on gifts again is a great sign for the economy and retailers," said Kathy Grannis, an NRF spokesperson.

According to NRF, shoppers will spend about the same on most items. But the average person will spend more on gifts, laying out $18.16, up from $17.30 last year, and on candy, spending $17.29, up from $16.55.

Consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, has been battered by one of the worst economic downturns on record.

But positive economic news in recent weeks, including a March 12 government retail sales report, shows that consumers may finally be ready to tip-toe back into stores.

"Gifts are considered discretionary spending for some. Usually they are one of the first things people cut back on when the economy takes a turn [for the worse]," said Grannis.

Still, general merchandise and discount stores are expected to see the heaviest traffic, as consumers keep a close eye out for deals. Some 64.8% of those surveyed said that they will shop at discount stores, followed by 33.2% at department stores.

"Warmer weather and special holiday promotions are the perfect mix to get people out of their homes and into stores as spring approaches," said Tracy Mullin, NRF's president and chief executive officer.

BIGresearch, a consumer market research firm, surveyed 8,281 U.S. consumers between March 2 and March 10 on NRF's behalf. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,279.74 13.75 0.08%
Nasdaq 4,579.79 -13.64 -0.30%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
Treasuries 2.59 -0.04 -1.60%
Data as of 10:49am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Yahoo! Inc 40.93 -1.16 -2.74%
Microsoft Corp 47.52 0.84 1.80%
Bank of America Corp... 16.95 -0.09 -0.53%
Oracle Corp 39.80 -1.75 -4.21%
Facebook Inc 77.91 0.91 1.18%
Data as of Sep 19

Sections

Law enforcement officials say Frank Tamayo was the middleman in a $5.6 million insider trading scheme that involved him eating pieces of paper to cover up the crime. More

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given more money than many western nations. More

It's really good to be Larry Ellison. The Oracle founder is stepping down as CEO, so maybe he'll have more time to enjoy his glamorous life. More

As Occupy Wall Street goes on its debt-abolishing tear, thousands of people across the country are begging them to forgive their loans. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.