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As economy impacts Halloween, Americans scale back


WASHINGTON Consumers are expected to spend an average of $56.31 on Halloween, down from $66.54 last year, according to a recent National Retail Foundation survey.

The 2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch,  also found that nearly 1-in-3 (29.6%) consumers said the state of the U.S. economy will impact their Halloween spending plans. Of those who will be affected, the largest majority (88.0%) plan to spend less overall. Others say they will be buying less candy (46.5%), using last year’s decorations without buying new ones (35.4%), making costumes instead of purchasing them (16.8%), reusing last year’s costumes (15.8%), and not participating in as many Halloween activities, such as haunted houses or fall festivals (26.4%).

Meanwhile, young adults, who were last year’s big spenders for Halloween, plan to scale back dramatically this year. According to the survey, the average 18-24 year-old will spend $68.56 on the holiday, compared with $86.59 last year and $81.91 in 2007.

“The economy has caught up to Halloween this year,” said Tracy Mullin, President and CEO, National Retail Federation. “Since retailers know that Americans will be looking to celebrate on a budget, there’s no doubt we will see creative costume and decorating ideas in every price point imaginable.”

The poll of 8,526 consumers was conducted from Sept. 1 through Sept. 9. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1%.

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