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Forecast: Valentine's Day spending to reach $17.6B

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According to the National Retail Federation's 2012 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGinsight, the average consumer will spend $126.03 during the holiday, up 8.5 percent compared to the 2010 average of $116.21.

This year's projected average is the highest in the survey's 10-year history. Total spending is expecting to hit $17.6 billion, according to a news release.

 “As one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year, it’s encouraging that consumers are still exhibiting the desire to spend on discretionary gift items, a strong indication our economy continues to move in the right direction,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in the release.

The BIGinsight survey, which polled 9,317 respondents Jan. 4-11, found consumers were planning to spend the most on their spouses or significant others - an average of $74.12 - compared to $68.98 last year. Consumers also are projected to spend an average of $25.25 on their children, parents or other family members; $6.92 on friends; and $4.52 on pets.

According to the survey, men are projected to spend the most this year at an average of $168.74, compared to women, who are expected to spend an average of $85.76.

At projected sales of $4.1 billion, jewelry is expected to be the most purchased item, up from $3.5 billion last year.

Of those polled, 37 percent said they would do their shopping at discount stores, while 33.6 percent said they would spend at department stores, up from 30.5 percent last year.[[In-content Ad]]

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