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Halloween Spending to Rise 9% as More Join the Fun

Wednesday, 28 Sep 2011 | 12:54 PM ET

Let's face it, reality can be scary. Maybe that's one reason why Halloween keeps becoming a bigger and bigger event each year.

Y. Nakajima | Amana Images | Getty Images

More Americans than ever plan to celebrate Halloween this year, boosting expected spending on the holiday by 9 percent to $6.86 billion.

One reason for the increase is that more consumers plan on dressing up in costume, according to the survey, which was conducted by BIGResearch on behalf of the National Retail Federation trade group.

About seven in 10 plan on celebrating Halloween, according to survey, which polled 9,374 consumers in mid-September.

Spending on costumes is expected to reach $1 billion, up from $840 million last year. About 43.9 percent of those celebrating will dress up in a costume. Last year, about 40.1 percent said they would dress up.

One reason for the increase is that more Americans are attending Halloween parties. Last year, about a third of those who celebrate said they would throw or attend a party. This year, the number rose slightly to 34.3 percent.

Others will hand out candy, carve a pumpkin, or take their children trick-or-treating.

And don't forget the fake cob webs and skeletons. Spending on Halloween decorations also is on the rise. In fact, spending on Halloween decor is now second only to spending on Christmas decorations.

"Thanks to creative costumes and decor for consumers of all ages, Halloween has become one of the most anticipated holidays of the year for many people," said Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director at BIGResearch. "As a non-gift holiday, even people on the strictest budget can enjoy themselves this Halloween."

On average, consumers will spend about $72.31 on decorations, costumes, and candy, up from $66.28 last year.

But the economy is haunting some people's plans. Nearly one-third of those surveyed said the state of the economy will hurt their spending. Most of these people expect to spend less overall. But others plan to make a costume instead of buying one (18.9 percent), use last year's costume (16.6 percent) and buy less candy (40.2 percent).

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com. Follow Christina Cheddar Berk on Twitter @ccheddarberk.

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