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Spending to top $16 billion for Easter, retail group says

Consumer spending is expected to top $16 billion this Easter.

Consumer spending for the Easter holiday, on apparel, decorations, gifts, candy, food and flowers, is expected to reach $16.4 billion this year, a trade group said Monday.

Nearly 90 percent of shoppers in a National Retail Federation survey said they will buy candy, spending more than $2.2 billion, while more than 85 percent will buy food, a $5.3 billion category. Nearly half will buy new outfits, spending nearly $3 billion, according to the survey, conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Retailers are also expected to do brisk business in gifts, flowers, decorations and greeting cards.

Individually, consumers will likely spend just over $140, slightly up from $137 last year, the trade group said.

"As one of the busiest times of year for several retail sectors, and as shelves begin filling with both traditional spring and holiday merchandise, retailers are looking forward to welcoming shoppers with attractive promotions on home goods, garden equipment and traditional Easter items," said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO, in the announcement.

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