by Stephen Garner

st patricksAccording to NRF’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics, more than 125 million Americans plan to celebrate the Irish holiday and are expected to spend an average of $35.37 per person, down slightly from last year’s $36.52. Total spending for the March 17 holiday is expected to reach $4.4 billion based on U.S. population 18 and older.

“Retailers expect to see a nice boost in sales as consumers head to stores looking for apparel, decorations, food and beverages to help make their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations special,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF. “With the winter holidays behind us and spring flowers starting to bloom, St. Patrick’s Day provides a perfect opportunity for Americans to get together to celebrate with friends and family.”

St PatricksAccording to the survey, 56.5 percent of those celebrating will purchase food and beverages, 28 percent will buy apparel or accessories, 23.3 percent will buy decorations and 17.2 percent will buy candy.

“St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a holiday for giving gifts, but it is a time for inexpensive and fun celebrations that make it easy for consumers of any age and on any budget to take part in the festivities,” said Prosper’s Pam Goodfellow. “Whether they’re heading to a parade, cooking an Irish meal or joining friends at a bar or restaurant, consumers will take the opportunity to get festive and celebrate.”

The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old with 70.1 percent celebrating, but those 25-34 years old will be the biggest spenders at an average $42.58.

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