Halloween Spending Could Shock the Economy

October 9, 2008 1:08:48 AM PDT
Retailers are bracing for what's expected to be a dismal Christmas shopping season. But when it comes to Halloween, the predictions are far less spooky. In fact, experts predict Americans will spend more on Halloween this year than ever. It may seem like a scary time to spend big on Halloween. The economy is bleak, home foreclosures are at record levels and stocks continue to plummet.

Despite all this gloom and doom, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts Americans won't hold back when it comes to Halloween spending. In fact spending is expected to increase 2.5% this year. That means nearly $6 billion. That's an average of almost $67/person.

Cindy Cantu from Fresno has two kids and expects to spend at least that on costumes alone. Cantu said: "They're older, high school, middle school and you can't wear the same thing twice. You can't go to A party and then trick or treat or another party and have the same outfit!"

Local economist Dr. William Rice claimed Halloween is the perfect time to forget all the economic problems the U.S. currently faces.

"Anytime in a depression where people have more strain more stress more anxiety they're gonna be spending money on things that help them relax," said Rice.

Another reason sales could increase this year is because Halloween is on a Friday.

College student Cristal Brooks said: "So you're going out and more people are going to see you. You wanna dress up and look better!"

"People get into it. It's the time of year when everybody gets to be something they're not ... This year, I'm getting older and I wanna spend more money on things like this," said Scott Gruenwald of Clovis.

Next to New Year's, Halloween is the largest adult holiday of the year. And for many it's a chance to be someone else and briefly escape these scary economic times.

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