Halloween spending to top $8.4 billion in 2016

Halloween candy
(Heather Pelat/Media General)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — Halloween spending is expected to top $8.4 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation, the most since tracking began 11 years ago.

Its survey found more than 171 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween, spending an average of $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34.

Handing out candy is the most popular Halloween activity, with 70 percent planning to greet trick-or-treaters at the door. Approximately half of those celebrating the holiday will decorate their homes, dress in costumes or carve a pumpkin.

“After a long summer, families are excited to welcome the fall season celebrating Halloween,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

Spending on Halloween costumes is expected to reach $3.1 billion, with 67 percent of Halloween celebrants planning to purchase costumes this year.

For the first time in 2016, a princess is no longer the top costume among kids. The superhero is now No. 1 with more than 3 million children planning to dress up as their favorite action hero.

According to the survey, 2.9 million kids will still dress as a princess followed by 2.5 million dressing as a cat, dog, bunny or other animal. Check out other popular costumes for kids in 2016 below.

Also for the holiday, $2.5 billion will be spent on candy, $2.4 billion on decorations and $390 million on Halloween greeting cards, the NRF found.

Read more about how Americans will celebrate the fright and delight of Halloween at NRF.com.