Valentine's Day spending to top $17 bln in U.S.

Other News Materials 14 February 2008 13:49 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - Americans are expected to spend a total of over $17 billion on Valentine's Day gifts, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch.

The average American plans to spend $122.9 on gifts, slightly up from last year's $119.6.

Almost half of the U.S. population (48.2%) who will celebrate the holiday, which is traced back to a Catholic Church feast day that honored St. Valentine, plan an evening at a restaurant.

Candy and flowers remain popular holiday gifts, with about 50% and 35.9% of respondents planning to buy chocolate and some type of flower respectively. And 11.8% will buy clothes for their other halves.

Men have historically been bigger spenders on St. Valentine's Day. This year, the average male is expected to spend $163, nearly the double the $84.7 the average female will spend, according to the survey.

The holiday will be celebrated by six of 10 people surveyed, according to the poll that was conducted among 8,447 consumers.