By Raytevia Evans
As soon as the season changed, residents headed to their local coffee shops for pumpkin-spiced and cinnamon-flavored lattes. And, according to the National Retail Federation, people also started searching for the best Halloween costumes — for themselves and their pets.
The pet owners have some big plans, according to a federation Halloween spending survey. The group determined that 22 million people will dress up their pets for Halloween and spend an estimated $330 million on pet costumes alone.
The survey also determined that about 158 million Americans will celebrate the holiday this year — a decrease from last year's 170 million, according to a recent news release.
- More: Check out Clarendon Moms' blog on the top pumpkin patches, fall festivals, corn mazes and hayrides in Northern Virginia.
"Total spending on costumes, treats, festivities, and, yes, even pets will reach $6.9 billion, compared to $8 billion last year," the news release stated.
According to National Retail Federation, mediocre job growth, higher payroll taxes and a weak economy are causing many consumers to pinch pennies and spend less. The group's chief executive, Matthew Shay, recently described it as living in an "either/or" economy — meaning consumers will buy discretionary items or big-ticket items but not both. And this year, Halloween simply may not make the cut for some consumers' budgets.
Despite the state of the economy — especially being in the first few days of a government shutdown — average spending on Halloween has increased 55 percent since 2005. This year, Halloween spending is expected to be slightly higher than spending in 2011, probably because of young adults who prove that the holiday is not just for children, according to the retailers group.
The survey showed that seven out of 10 adults between 18 and 24 plan to wear a costume this year. About 65 percent of people in their late 20s and early 30s also plan to wear a Halloween costume. About 52 percent of millennials will throw a party, 47 percent will carve pumpkins, 36 percent will visit a haunted house and 20 percent will wear a costume.