Halloween Spending Not Spooked By Shaky Economy

Despite an uncertain economy, Americans are spending more to get into the Halloween spirit this year.

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It seems even a sluggish economy can't keep Americans from spending big bucks on one of their most beloved holidays.

The average Halloween reveler expects to spend almost $80 on costumes, decorations and candy, according to the National Retail Federation. That's up from just over $72 last year, with total consumer spending on the spooky holiday expected to eclipse $8 billion.

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Some of the splurging is due to the record number of people who will be celebrating Halloween this year. More than 70 percent of Americans (170 million) plan to partake in some sort of festivities, according to the NRF, the most the organization has ever recorded.

"There's certainly pent-up demand for having some fun this year and shoppers are planning to spend their hard-earned dollars on items that help them get into the Halloween spirit," Phil Rist, executive vice president of the survey conductor BIGInsight, said in a release.

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When it comes to dressing up, Americans are also more likely to shell out a few extra dollars for the perfect costume. The average person will spend almost $29 on costumes this year, up from about $26.50 in 2011. And with the presidential election providing plenty of good fodder for creative costumes, this year's get-ups should be interesting to say the least—Etch-A-Sketch or Big Bird, anyone?

But donning a great costume isn't the only way Americans are getting into the spirit. More than half of those surveyed said they plan to decorate their home or yard and more than 36 percent said they'll throw a party. Others said they wouldn't be leaving their furry friends out of the fun, with 15 percent planning to dress up their pets.

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But while Americans might be spending more overall this year, the struggling economy is still somewhat affecting plans. More than a quarter of those surveyed said worries about the economy will impact their plans with more than 80 percent planning to spend less than they normally would and 18 percent planning to make their costume rather than buy one.

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Meg Handley is a reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can reach her at mhandley@usnews.com and follow her on Twitter at @mmhandley.