Valentine’s Day Spending Is Projected to Reach $18.9 Billion This Year

With $703 million going to the dogs (and cats and other pets)

This Valentine's Day you're probably planning to shower your loved ones with special trinkets to show your love: jewelry, candy, a special night out, maybe some milkbones. Wait a second. Yes, according to a new study from the National Retail Federation, American's will spend $18.9 billion this holiday with $703 million of that allocated to pampering their pets. 

The average person will spend $142.31 on various gifts this year, up from $133.91 last year, according to the NRF's Valentine's Day Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, which polled 6,375 consumers. 

A little more than half (53.2 percent) of Valentine's Day consumers will purchase candy generating $1.7 billion in sales. One in five (21.1 percent) will purchase jewelry, totaling $4.8 billion, a high for the NRF, which began tracking Valentine's Day spending in 2010.

Consumers will also shell out $2.1 billion for flowers, $3.6 billion for a special meal or movie tickets, $2 billion for clothing and $1.5 billion on the laziest last-minute present: the gift card.

Nine out of 10 consumers expect to spend money on their spouse, totaling an average of $87.94, up from last year's average of $78.09. Men are expected to nearly double what women spend this holiday, shelling out an average of $190.53 compared to $96.58. 

Now let's get back to that $703 million pet number: Yes, your furry loved one is likely to be factored in this year with one in five consumers expected to spend an average of $5.28 on pet presents. 

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