Americans will spend about $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day—including $654 million on co-workers

Americans spend nearly $20 billion on Valentine's Day—here's what might be...

New Valentine's Day statistics show that Americans might really like their co-workers after all: They are expected to spend a near-record high of $19.6 billion for the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), including $654 million on gifts for their co-workers, or about $4.79 each.

That said, co-workers are the least of Americans' priorities on Valentine's Day, as significant others or spouses and family members such as parents or children receive the bulk of today's holiday spending.

"Americans are looking forward to pampering and indulging their loved ones with flowers, candy, dinner and all of the other Valentine's Day stops," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. "With the holidays behind them and the winter months dragging along, consumers are looking for something to celebrate this time of year."

The NRF surveyed 7,277 consumers about their Valentine's Day plans and found this year's spending came close to the 2016 record-high of $19.7 billion. The organization has conducted this annual survey annually over the past 15 years.

People aged 25-to-34 will be spending the most on Valentine's Day gifts this year, dropping an average of $202.76 per person.

Americans overall are sticking to traditional gifts for Valentine's Day, including candy, flowers, cards and jewelry.

Becoming friends with your co-workers or even having a "work spouse" has been shown to increase happiness and positivity and, as a result, make you a better worker, so a valentine for your co-workers could actually be a smart investment.

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