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 16,493.37 -69.93 -0.42%
Nasdaq 4,352.64 -17.13 -0.39%
S&P 500 1,925.15 -5.52 -0.29%
Treasuries 2.50 -0.05 -2.00%
Data as of 3:26am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 14.98 -0.27 -1.77%
Apple Inc 96.13 0.53 0.55%
Facebook Inc 72.37 -0.28 -0.39%
General Electric Co 25.35 0.20 0.80%
Ford Motor Co 16.81 -0.21 -1.23%
Data as of Aug 1

Sections

P&G announces it is selling or closing about 90 smaller brands to focus on its 70 to 80 major brands. More

Terrell White has had a profit-sharing plan for his employees since 1981, believing that if the staff isn't happy, guests won't be either. More

Millennials are spending big money on coffee, alcohol and fast food. Here's where they're spending the most and how much, according to budgeting app Level Money. 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.