Upbeat consumers are expected to set a record for Valentine's Day spending this year, with jewelry-related purchases surging an astonishing 48.7%, according to a survey just released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Overall Valentine's Day gift volume is expected to total $27.4 billion, up 32% from last year’s record $20.7 billion. Of that total, $5.8 billion is earmarked for jewelry, a dramatic increase from 2019's total of $3.9 billion. And for the fourth consecutive year, U.S. consumers will spend more on jewelry than any other Valentine’s Day gift category.

“Consumers spent freely during the 2019 winter holidays and they appear ready to do the same in the new year," noted NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "The same strong employment numbers and higher wages that boosted holiday sales should make it easier to spend a little extra to say ‘I love you’ this year.”

Fifty-five percent of consumers will be celebrating Valentine's Day in 2020, a slight increase over the 51% who celebrated in 2019. The average gift-giving Cupid in 2020 has a budget of $196.31, up 21% over last year’s record of $161.96.

The highest-spending Valentine shoppers ($358.78) are in the 35-to-44 age range, followed by 25-to-34 year olds ($307.51) and 18-to-24 year olds ($109.31). Men will outspend women $291.15 to $106.22.

As noted earlier, jewelry dominates all categories. Shoppers plan to spend $5.8 billion on jewelry (given by 21%), $4.3 billion on an evening out (34%), $2.9 billion on clothing (20%), $2.4 billion on candy (52%), $2.3 billion on flowers (37%), $2 billion on gift cards (19%) and $1.3 billion on greeting cards (43%).

The NRF reported that 27% of those surveyed will be buying Valentine’s gifts for their pets. That's the highest percentage in the history of the survey and up from 17% in 2010. What's more impressive is that spending on furry friends is expected to total $1.7 billion.

The NRF’s 2020 Valentine’s Day spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Valentine’s Day. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 7,267 consumers took place from January 2-9, 2020, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Credit: Image by BigStockPhoto.com.

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