Americans will spend some $18.6 billion on Valentine's Day gifts this year. That's an average of $130.97 per consumer – up from $126.03 last year – according to figures from the National Retail Federation, UPS and the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker survey reported by Advertising Age today.
Here's how the spending breaks down overall:
- $4.4 billion on diamonds, gold, silver and other kinds of jewelry.
- $1.9 billion on flowers. UPS ships 95 million flowers, weighing 3,000 tons, from Central and South America for the occasion and adds 130 flight segments to get them delivered.
- $1.6 billion for candy. Dental work not included.
- $815 million on gifts for pets, who have no idea whatever what the day's all about.
- $175.61 – How much the average man spends on Valentine's Day gifts.
- $88.78 – What the average woman spends. Where's the Equal Rights Amendment when you need it?
- $8.49 – What the average American spends on cards and gifts for friends.
- $5.12 – What the average American spends on gifts and cards for colleagues.
The best things in life are free
- 6 million people said they were planning to make or receive a marriage proposal today – up 50 percent from last year.
- 29 percent of survey respondents said they'd post Valentine messages on Facebook.
- 7 percent said they'd post romantic tweets.
More consumers love technology
- 40.7 percent of smartphone owners used their phones to shop for gifts.
- 26.3 percent of gifts were bought online, up from 19.3 percent last year.