Financial meltdown won't spoil Halloween fun

Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:52am EDT
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Global stocks markets are plummeting, house prices are slumping and jobless figures are rising but Americans are not about to let a financial crisis dent their Halloween fun.

About three quarters of Americans plan to celebrate the ghost and goblins holiday, and despite the credit crunch most are going to delve deeper into their pockets this year to buy candies, costumes and decorations.

The average American will spend $47 on Halloween, 18 percent more than last year, credit card company Visa Inc said, based on the findings of its polls of American consumers.

Although the surveys were done in late summer, October's financial meltdown is unlikely to curb Halloween spending.

"I think people are still going to be spending on Halloween," said Jason Alderman, director of financial education at Visa Inc.

"It is one of those holidays that people derive a lot of pleasure for a relatively little amount of money. In these challenging times when a lot of people are worried and a pall is cast over a lot of families. This is a relatively inexpensive way to try to forget those troubles," he added.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) puts the figure even higher at $66.54. It predicts total spending for the holiday will be about $5.7 billion, based on its September poll by BIGresearch of 8,167 consumers.

"The bottom line when it comes to Halloween, in general, it is a relatively cheap and inexpensive holiday and consumers are ready to focus on fun and forget about what is going on," Kathy Grannis, a spokesperson for the NRF, explained.   Continued...

 
<p>A Jack-O-Lantern sits on a post along a residential street as revelers take part in the annual Parade of Lost Souls in Vancouver, British Columbia October 27, 2007. Global stocks markets are plummeting, house prices are slumping and jobless figures are rising but Americans are not about to let a financial crisis dent their Halloween fun. REUTERS/Andy Clark</p>