LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The average adult plans on spending $116.21 on Valentine’s Day gifts and merchandise, a 12.8 percent increase from last year’s $103, according to a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation.

“Having surpassed expectations during the holiday season, it seems consumers are not done spending on gifts, which bodes well for the economy,” Matthew Shay, the president and chief executive officer of the federation, said.

“Jewelry, candy and apparel sales should provide a nice boost for retailers during the typically slower months of January and February.”

The survey conducted by BIGresearch found that Valentine’s Day will be celebrated by 58.1 percent of the 8,913 adults polled, down from 59.6 percent last year, when Valentine’s Day was on a Sunday, and 34.6 percent plan to spend a night out, compared to 35.6 percent last year.

“Though the economy will still be on their minds, Valentine’s Day holds a special place in many Americans’ hearts,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives of BIGresearch.

“Some may opt for a quiet night out or a home cooked meal to keep costs down, but it seems there are others who are a little more interested in a nice night out on the town.”

The survey also found that 34.3 percent plan to buy flowers and 17.3 percent jewelry. One year ago, 35.6 percent of those polled planned to buy flowers and 15.5 percent planned to buy jewelry.

As in previous years, men will spend much more the women. The average man plans on spending $158.71 and women $75.79, according to the survey.

The survey was conducted from Jan. 4-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percent.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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