The National Retail Federation reports that Easter spending is expected to decline this year by 14 percent, with consumers spending an average of $116.59 on Easter candy, gifts, food and decorations.
The holiday falls on April 12, three weeks later than it did last year. Still, the NRF survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found shoppers are planning to buy less. For instance, shoppers are expected to spend $19.44 on clothing, down from $23.82 last year.
"Many Americans view Easter as the official kickoff to spring," says Phil Rist of BIGresearch. "A later holiday could mean people will take advantage of retailers' Easter promotions as a way to spruce up their spring wardrobe."
Just last week, the government announced total retail sales fell just 0.1 percent in February, after January's revised increase of 1.8 percent.
The NRF expects spending will be down across many retail sectors, with consumers spending 8.3 percent less on food compared to 2008; 19 percent less on gifts; and 17 and 8 percent less on flowers and candy, respectively. In the meantime, the number of shoppers planning to buy at discount stores has jumped to 64 percent.