A record number of people are expected to celebrate Halloween this year, and a record amount of money will be spent to mark the holiday.
The 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey from the National Retail Federation predicts that 170 million people will spend a total of $8 billion. Both are highs in the ten year history of the survey, and the 2011 total spending was $6.86 billion.
“By the time Halloween rolls around each year it’s safe to say Americans have already spent two months preparing for one of the fastest-growing and most widely-loved holidays of the year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.
The average person is predicted to spend $79.82 on costumes, candy and decorations. Spending on just costumes was $28.65, up two dollars from the previous year.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the rise in spending can be seen as further evidence that the economy is improving.
We're seeing an uptick in consumer lending of almost 20 percent pretty consistently across lending categories," Beverly Ladley, head of consumer lending at SunTrust, told the publication. "Consumers are really starting to feel a little more settled, and comfortable borrowing again."
Another positive sign are sales at retail stores, which went up 3.6 percent in September, according to Rueters. The increase matched analysts’ expectations.
Still, the economy weighed on people who took the NRF survey. One-fourth of the responders reportedly say the state of the economy will impact their plans for the holiday. More than 80 percent say they will spend less overall.
The NRF also surveyed people to determine the most popular Halloween outfits. The list can be found here.