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Consumers Prepare For a Bidenflation Haunted Halloween

More Americans are getting into the Halloween holiday spirit—even though they know they will have to pay up for it.

Overall spending on Halloween is expected to reach a record $12.2 billion, up from last year’s record of $10.6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

The fifteen percent increase in expected spending is only partly a response to inflation. The broad consumer price index was up 3.7 percent in September compared with 12 months earlier. The index of candy prices, however, is up by a much sharper 7.5 percent.

The Labor Department does not specifically track the prices of Halloween costumes in the consumer price index. The broader category of boys apparel, however, is up 5.5 percent compared with a year ago. Girls apparel prices, however, are down slightly after a meteoric rise of 9 percent in 12 months leading up to September of 2022 (boys apparel rose just 3.6 percent during that time).

“More Americans than ever will be reaching into their wallets and spending a record amount of money to celebrate Halloween this year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers will be shopping early for festive décor and other related items and retailers are prepared with the inventory to help customers and their families take part in this popular and fun tradition.”

A record 73 percent of Americans will participate in Halloween-related activities this year, up from 69 percent in 2022.

The estimated spending per person rose to $10.8.24, up from the previous record of $102.74 in 2021. The driver of the increase was spending on costumes. Total spending on costumes is expected to rise 13.9 percent to reach a record $4.1 billion, up from $3.6 billion last year. Sixty-nine percent of people celebrating Halloween expect to buy a costume, up from 67 percent last year and the highest recorded.
Candy spending is expected to reach $3.6 billion, up from $3.1 billion last year. That’s more than twice the rate of inflation.

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