Valentine's Day by the Numbers
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The Fiscal Times
February 13, 2013

When you buy that box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day, you’re showing more than your love for your sweetheart—you’re boosting the U.S. economy.

Even amid a slow recovery, Americans are set to spend a record $18.6 billion this Valentine’s Day.  Flower shops, jewelry stores and online dating sites are all expecting to cash in on the day of love. According to the 2013 National Retail Federation Valentine’s Day spending survey, the average American is expected to spend $130.97 on gifts, a slight increase from last year. 

“Valentine’s Day remains one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year, and although consumers will be conscientious with their spending, it’s great to see that millions of Americans are still looking forward to celebrating with their loved ones,” said Matthey Shay, NRF president and chief executive officer.

Whether you’ll be celebrating with a significant other, a group of friends or treating yourself, you’re most likely going to be sending the American economy some love.
Here are some of this year’s numbers.

Figures compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Retail Federation

$18.6 billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend this Valentine’s Day.

$13.5 billion
The total cost of shipments for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2011.

$4.4  billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on diamonds, gold and silver this Valentine’s Day.

$1.9 billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on flowers this Valentine’s Day.

$1.6 billion
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on candy this Valentine’s Day.

$928 million
The amount of revenue brought in my Internet dating services in 2011

$815 million
The amount of money Americans are expected to spend on gifts for their pets this Valentine’s Day.

$365 million
The total value of fresh cut roses in 2011.

$175.61
The average amount men will spend on gifts and a date this Valentine’s Day.

$88.78
The average amount women will spend on gifts and a date this Valentine’s Day

70,575
The number of workers employed by floral shops in 2010.

52,600
Number of workers employed by chocolate, cocoa and candy manufactures in 2010. Bureau)

 

All numbers are from the Census Bureau or the National Retail Federation

Washington Correspondent Brianna Ehley, based in D.C., covers Congress, government agencies and spending issues, health care, and tax and economic policy for The Fiscal Times.