Digital messages, proposals expected to rise on Valentine's Day

Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:02am EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Not everyone will be struck by Cupid's arrow on Valentine's Day, but for the many people who are, they will be popping the question and proposing to their loved one, according to a new survey.

Six million Americans are expecting or planning a marriage proposal on Valentine's Day, two million more than last year, and the average price of a ring to seal the deal will be $2,410, data from American Express showed.

"As the economy is picking up people are starting to be more optimistic and things like proposals and getting engaged, and taking that next life step, are more topical," said Melanie Backs, the manager of public affairs at American Express.

Backs said the number of expected proposals is a significant boost from last year.

"We were surprised, a little bit, that optimism is reigning on Valentine's Day, especially since the number of people saying they will be spending on the day is down this year," Backs said.

Although fewer people will be buying Valentine gifts this year - 69 percent compared to 76 percent in 2012 - those who are expected to spend about $239, up from $196 last year.

"Couples are spending more this year and they are driving the majority of the spending," said Backs.

Men will be a bit more generous than women, spending an average of $272, while women will be more economical.   Continued...