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Survey predicts blooming Valentine’s Day

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A good economy might mean that you could enjoy a sweeter Valentine’s Day this year, according to survey information shared by a national retail group and a research firm.

Valentine’s Day, to be celebrated on Thursday, means different things to different people. It can be about romance, family love, friendship or even a time to think about the origin of the day, which some histories indicate date back to a Roman fertility festival.

But in the United States, it is also big business and expected to be especially rosy in 2020, due to high employment nationally and rising wages in some sectors of the economy.

This year, consumers nationwide are expected to spend $196.31 per person, for a total of $27.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. That’s a 32% increase over the record set in 2019, when spending nationwide hit $20.7 billion.

While spouses and significant others are expected to receive 52% of the spending, according to the survey of 7,267 adult consumers conducted in early January, U.S. consumers have indicated they will spread the love to friends and classmates, pets and even co-workers, who manage to beat the family dog or cat by an average of 5 cents per survey responder. The average consumer spending for co-workers is expected to be $12.96, while it is estimated at $12.91 for pets.

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Most people plan to spend their money on the standards — greeting cards, candy and flowers. But some lucky recipients — and let’s hope that it is not Fido — will get a special evening out (34%) or a memorable experience such as game tickets or a spa visit (28%).