NEW YORK (MainStreet) The Easter eggs are still colorful, but there may be fewer of them in the basket this year. The average American celebrating Easter will spend $137.46 this year, compared to an average of $145.13 in 2013, according to the National Retail Federation's Easter spending survey. Total spending for the season is expected to reach nearly $16 billion.
The survey says fewer Americans are celebrating Easter this year: 80.3% versus 83% last year. But those who do plan to celebrate will spend the most on a traditional Easter Sunday meal, with a majority (85.7%) shelling out an average of $43.18 on groceries or dining out a $5 billion addition to the economy.
Of course, it's also a traditional time to add to the spring wardrobe, with more than four in ten (42.9%) of the survey respondents planning on purchasing apparel -- total clothing spending is expected to reach $2.6 billion. Additional Easter expenditures will be on gifts ($2.4 billion) and candy ($2.2 billion), as well as flowers and decorations ($1.1 billion each).
Of those who own smartphones, nearly one-quarter (23.4%) will use their device while shopping to gather information on potential purchases and compare prices. Just 12.2% will make an actual purchase with their smartphone. But nearly one in five (19.2%) tablet owners will make a purchase on their device, as well as research holiday gifts, apparel and other items (30.2%).
While the NRF survey predicts a softening consumer demand for Easter revenue, last month retail sales topped $433 billion, an increase of 1.1% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The March sales total includes automobile, gasoline station, and restaurant sales. The Census also reported retail sales year-over-year increased 3.8%.