With wallets open, Americans show their love for Valentine's Day

Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:46pm EST
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By Letitia Stein

TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - Americans are feeling sweet about romance as Valentine's Day approaches, with consumers expected to spend big this year on candy, jewelry and flowers, according to a survey released on Monday.

The average person celebrating the holiday on Feb. 14 expects to spend $142.31 in the name of love, about $8 more than last year, the National Retail Federation reported.

Candy appears on more than half of people's shopping lists, while over a third are sniffing out deals on flowers.

America's pets should also feel the love this year, with one in five people purchasing treats for a furry friend.

In all, Valentine's Day spending is projected to reach $18.9 billion, the highest in the trade group's holiday poll since 2007. It was based on a survey this month of 6,375 consumers, with a margin of error of 1.3 percentage points.

Overall, the state of romance is strong, the U.S. Census Bureau reported on Monday.

On average, nearly 5,800 Americans got married each day in 2011, totaling 2.1 million marriages that year, according to the latest provisional numbers from the Census Bureau.

Nowhere were the chapels busier than in Nevada, which led the nation with about 37 marriages per 1,000 people in 2011.   Continued...

Workers prepare vases of red roses at Winston Flowers in Boston, Massachusetts February 13, 2013, the day before Valentine's Day.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder