How Much Will Consumers Spend on Valentine’s Day This Year?

Today marks another Valentine’s Day and, according to the National Retail Federation, nearly 55% of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday. As the tradition goes, this means buying gifts for your significant other and perhaps additional loved ones. So just how much money are we talking about?

Estimates by the NFG suggest consumers will spend a total of $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts this year. That’s a step up from the $18.2 billion spent last year but, if estimates prove to correct, it will come in just short of 2016’s $19.7 billion in spending. Also up from last year is the amount each person plans on spending, with the average this year reaching $143.56. By comparison, 2017’s average came in at $136.57.

As for what types of gifts this estimated $19.6 billion will go towards, 55% report that they’ll be giving candy this year — up from 49.7% last year. Other popular items include greeting cards (45.9%), flowers (35.6%), and the always vague “evening out” (35.2%). However, in terms of dollars, an estimated $4.7 billion will be spent on jewelry, $3.7 billion on evenings out, $2 billion on flowers, and $1.8 billion on candy.

It also seems that non-material gifts are also gaining popularity with 23.7% of respondents planning on giving experiences as gifts this Valentine’s Day. Meanwhile 42.3% say they’d like to receive such a gift this year. Lastly there are some consumers — about 30% — who have non-Valentine’s Day celebration plans. Of those, 11.5% plan on purchasing themselves something special instead, 9.8% will be getting together with friends or family, and 3.3% say they’ll be purchasing anti-Valentine’s gifts.

Although we may not have needed a study to tell us that Valentine’s Day festivities can get expensive, seeing the actual figures is always fascinating. In the grand scheme of things, $144 might not be a ton but the $19.6 billion figure is pretty staggering. Needless to say it’ll be interesting to see if actual spending for this year’s Valentine’s Day ends up meeting or exceeding these NRF estimates.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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