The spending numbers for Halloween keep climbing every year, with an increasing number of Americans feeling comfortable enough to shell out a few extra dollars on costumes and candy to enjoy the spook-tivities.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans will spend upwards of $9 billion this year on Halloween. In 2016, before President Trump had taken office, Halloween spending had fallen down to just $8.4 billion.
The numbers on individual spending have also slightly increased from 2017, with Americans spending $86.79 per person versus last year’s $86.13.
“The NRF estimates that 175 million Americans will partake in Halloween festivities this year,” reports WPRI. “Among those celebrating, 70% plan to hand out candy, 50% will decorate their home or yard, 48% will wear costumes and 32% will throw or attend a party.”
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay indeed attributed the positive numbers to the high-performing economy.
“The economy is good and consumer confidence is high, so families are ready to spend on Halloween this year,” Shay told reporters. “Retailers are stocking up to supply children, pets and adults with their favorite decorations, candy and costumes for the season.”
Most of the spending will go towards candy, of course, a full 95% of it. Another 74% of the money will be spent on decorations, 68% on costumes and 35% on greeting cards.
According to Investopedia, the state of the economy plays a big factor in whether or not holiday spending will be a boom or bust since little of it is a necessary expense in the utilitarian sense. In fact, the numbers on holiday spending, especially for ones as superficial as Halloween, provides a great barometer to judge consumer confidence. The outlet writes:
It could also be argued that the state of the economy affects the Halloween industry more than Halloween affects the economy. In a down economy, for instance, consumers may be less likely to spend on frivolous goods such as costumes, candy, pumpkins and home decorations, or attend parties. Conversely, booming economic times might serve as a boon to Halloween expenditures. Regardless of which way the relationship is considered more causally significant, many economists believe the increase in spending has a positive effect. Increased spending generally leads to higher gross domestic product (GDP), helping to jump-start economic activity and lead to potential job growth.
Another possible (albeit slight) factor in the net positive of this year’s Halloween could stem from a high number of Americans anticipating the expense in August and September, causing them to cut spending during that period of time. This correlates with studies showing a reduction in gross spending during those two months.
Conversely, people might spend big on Halloween and then offset the cost with low-spending during the month of November before the Christmas season kicks in. Regardless, the increased Halloween spending not only pumps more money into the economy but also increases jobs in industries that rely on Halloween spending, such as pumpkin growers and themed retail outlets.
“Many retail stores open up only for Halloween and, when November arrives, these shops close up and wait until the next spooky season,” reports Investopedia. “Additionally, some industries expect and plan for large increases during the holiday, including producers of pumpkins and candy.”