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Valentine’s Day 2016 spending expected to reach nearly $20 billion

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Valentine’s Day spending is set to hit a record high of nearly $20 billion nationally, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation.

The NRF Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey estimates love birds will spend an average of $146.84 a piece for holiday celebrations, up $4.53 from the 2015 average and overall spending is expected to hit $19.7 billion.

“Valentine’s Day continues to play a significant role in the bottom line for Florida retailers, as consumers buy gifts to show their affection for their loved ones,” said Florida Retail Federation President Randy Miller. “With an improving Florida economy combined with low gas prices and great deals on popular merchandise and meals, we expect retailers and consumers to love this year’s Valentine’s Day shopping season.”

The bulk of that Valentine’s budget, about $90, will be on items for spouses and significant others, though sweethearts won’t be the only ones shown love this weekend. Consumers said they’ll spend an average of $27.79 on family members, $7.08 on their kid’s classmates and $5.83 on co-workers.

Restaurant and event spending is expected to see the biggest jump over 2015 spending, with dinner dates and show tickets expected to make up $4.5 billion of total expenditures, the highest total in survey history.

The survey, conducted by Prosper and Insight Analytics, pegged jewelry sales just behind dates at $4.4 billion, with the third-century saint’s holiday also predicted to drive sales for clothing up to $2 billion, flowers to $1.9 billion, candy to $1.7 billion and greeting cards to $1.1 billion.

“Retailers have come up with incredibly creative merchandise over the years, resulting in different price points that should appeal to even the most frugal consumer,” Miller said. “We’re confident that every Florida shopper can find that perfect gift for their loved one.”

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and 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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