More Tricks Than Treats This Halloween

00006670Happy Halloween to all my spooked blog readers interested in the current state of the “Halloween economy”. Last year’s discussion can be found here.

This year the ghost of Halloween past has managed to spook some shoppers away. The scary tale of the US economy, among many other culprits, may be what is causing Halloween celebrants to have such bogged down outlooks. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) Halloween Spending Survey [1], only 65.8% of US Adults over the age of 18 are planning to celebrate Halloween, as opposed to 71.5% last year:

Halloween Chart 1

What’s worse is that according to the same survey, the fewer people planning on celebrating Halloween are also planning on spending an average of 6% less, from $79.82 in 2012 to $75.03 in 2013. Including this year, growth since 2005 is 3.2%.

Halloween Chart 2

The combined effect of fewer people celebrating Halloween and those same people expecting to scale down their purchases results in approximately 12.6% less spending on Halloween overall, from $8 billion to approximately $7 billion in the United States. On an inflation adjusted basis, the drop in real spending is even more pronounced at 14.3% less than in 2012. On average, beginning in 2005, growth in total Halloween spending has been 7.4% per year:

Halloween Chart 3

The survey performed by the NRF also uncovered some interesting gender and age range statistics pertaining to how these groups view Halloween. Parallel to last year, men expect to spend 31% more on average than women ($85.84.11/man vs. $65.09/woman). 25-34 year-olds are still expected to spend the most, at $101.61 per adult, although 34-44 year-olds aren’t too far behind, at $100.70. In third place are 18-24 year-olds, at $78.18.

Halloween Chart 4


Like 2012, although more women expected to decorate their houses; however, men expected to spend more on decorations:

Halloween Chart 5


If gloomy Halloween spending expectations actually materialize into consumer cut-backs, such a drop will not go unnoticed. Due to the significant reliance of the US economy on consumer spending and consumer shopping seasonality, poor holiday trends are not good news for the rest of the economy. Despite the Fed’s best efforts to breathe life into the US economy, consumer pessimism persists at least in relation to Halloween spending.




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