Halloween spending to reach record level, national retail group says

Halloween spending is expected to hit a record-breaking $8.4 billion this year, up 21.7 percent from 2015, according to the National Retail Federation.

103004-Stuart-Emily Bodenheimer, 2, checks out her candy load while she and her sisters "Trick or Treat" the merchants of downtown Stuart after the 6th annual Hobgoblin Parade on Osceola Street Saturday. Children, lead by the Stuart Fire Department, paraded through downtown Stuart in their Halloween costumes. Meghan McCarthy/Staff Photographer

103004-Stuart-Emily Bodenheimer, 2, checks out her candy load while she and her sisters “Trick or Treat” the merchants of downtown Stuart after the 6th annual Hobgoblin Parade on Osceola Street Saturday. Children, lead by the Stuart Fire Department, paraded through downtown Stuart in their Halloween costumes. Meghan McCarthy/Staff Photographer

More than 171 million Americans planning to celebrate the holiday this year, spending an average of $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the federation.

The 2016 spending forecast marks the highest projection in the survey’s history.

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“After a long summer, families are excited to welcome the fall season celebrating Halloween,” said Matthew Shay, the federation’s president and CEO. “Retailers are preparing for the day by offering a wide variety of options in costumes, decorations and candy, while being aggressive with their promotions to capture the most out of this shopping event.”

Shoppers are expected spend $3.1 billion on costumes; $2.5 billion on candy; $2.4 billion on decorations; and $390 million on greeting cards, the survey found.