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Thank You Easter Bunny! Easter Spending to Rise 11%

Retailers will likely have a Happy Easter as Americans are expected to spend more on candy, flowers and little trinkets to celebrate the holiday, according to the results of a recent survey.

Easter Eggs
Easter Eggs

Consumers are expected to spend 11 percent more than they did last year, or about $16.8 billion, based on the results of a survey conducted by BIGinsight for the retail industry trade group National Retail Federation. The average person celebrating Easter will spend about $145.28, up from $131.04 last year.

That’s no small sum, especially when you consider that most Americans are paying more for gasoline these days.

“Though the price of gas is on everyone’s mind, Easter is one of the few holidays some consumers are willing to stretch their budgets, especially because many children look forward to treats and new outfits on Easter morning,” said Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO.

Buying candy and spring clothes will eat up a good chunk of the budget. Nearly half of those surveyed said they plan to take advantage of spring sales retailers will have in order to buy new outfits. Total spending on apparel may rise to $3.0 billion, according to the survey.

And consumers will shell out another $2 billion on chocolate eggs, jelly beans and other treats. About 89.3 percent of consumers surveyed have candy on their shopping lists.

Another $5.1 billion will be spent on food for an Easter meal, with spending on food by the average person expected to rise to $44.34 this year from $40.05 last year. Others will buy gifts, flowers, decorations and cards to mark the occasion. (Consumer Nation has compiled a list of gift ideas that cost less than $25for those who are looking to stretch their budget.)

This year there is also some good news for department stores. Although discount stores continue to be popular places for consumers to shop, four in 10 consumers said they plan to head to a department store for gifts and other holiday merchandise. That’s the highest in the survey’s history.

However, the biggest boost in traffic will go to online retailers. Nearly two in five plan to shop online, up from 14.8 percent last year.

BIGinsight polled 9,242 consumers in early March to compile these results.

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

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