Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

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

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,255.01 196.66 1.22%
Nasdaq 4,708.59 72.48 1.56%
S&P 500 1,935.56 21.71 1.13%
Treasuries 2.19 0.02 0.87%
Data as of 3:13pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.73 0.20 1.29%
Apple Inc 110.84 3.12 2.90%
General Electric Co 24.46 0.58 2.41%
Netflix Inc 102.60 -3.19 -3.02%
Alcoa Inc 9.24 0.02 0.22%
Data as of 2:59pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Stocks go way way down. And then back up. It's enough to make your head spin. But what you need to do is keep a level head and not panic. This doesn't look like a bear market. More

Several currencies have plummeted this year. That's bad in the short term. Long term it could be a good thing though. More

How do you run a successful crowdfunding campaign? Indiegogo's CEO Slava Rubin offers his top tips and mistakes to avoid. More

Millennials are looking for a buying opportunity and the current stock market gyrations seems to offer that. Many are jumping in. More