St. Patrick’s Day: A $5 Billion Pot of Gold for the US Economy
Life and Leisure

St. Patrick’s Day: A $5 Billion Pot of Gold for the US Economy


Retailers, bars and restaurants are getting lucky this St. Patrick’s Day.

More than half of Americans polled by the National Retail Federation said they’d celebrate the Irish holiday this year, spending an average of about $38 each. The holiday is most popular with adults under age 24, but those between ages 25 and 34 plan to spend the most, about $47 each. That may not seem like a huge amount, but collectively it adds up to a lot of green.

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The NRF projects that St. Patrick’s Day spending will amount to $5.3 billion overall, an increase of 20 percent over last year, and the highest total since the NRF began tracking such sales in 2007.

“Now that winter is almost behind us, and with St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday, we will see more Americans getting together to celebrate with friends and family,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

St Paddys

More than half of those celebrating said that they’d spend money on St. Patrick’s Day food today, and 41 percent planned to buy beverages. More than a quarter of celebrants planned to purchase apparel or accessories to show their Irish pride.

One in five revelers in the Northeast will attend a parade celebrating the Irish saint. New York City’s parade -- the oldest in the country and largest in the world -- will draws some 2 million people, and may see even larger crowds this year since the holiday falls on a Friday.