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Barbecues, fireworks and travel boost expected Independence Day spending to record $7 billion

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Consumers are expected to spend more than $7 billion celebrating Independence Day this year according to a new survey released by the National Retail Federation.

The total slightly edges out 2015’s record-setting numbers, when consumers spent an average of $71.23 celebrating the holiday.

“Floridians will celebrate Independence Day this year by spending in record numbers, making it potentially a very prosperous holiday weekend for our retailers statewide,” said Florida Retail Federation President and CEO Randy Miller. “Low gas prices, nice weather, and a healthy state economy all add up to a fun and successful celebration for consumers and retail business owners.”

According to the survey, two-thirds of respondents plan to attend a cookout or barbecue this weekend, while 43 percent say they will watch fireworks or go to another community event, and one-in-eight say they will attend a parade.

While much of the spending this weekend will be for party supplies and food to throw on the grill, NRF said a quarter of those polled are planning to pick up something patriotic, whether it be themed apparel, decorations or an American flag.

The survey also found 13 percent of respondents plan to head out of town for the holiday, and only 21 percent of them said gas prices would affect their plans, down 1 percent from 2015 and down 26 percent from five years ago.

The NRF survey brought in 6,811 responses from consumers and was conducted from June 1 through June 7. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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