They say you can’t buy love, but research shows consumers are spending more than ever this Valentine’s season.
According to Mother Nature Network, research from the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates the total spending will reach $17.6 billion, with the average person spending more than $126, up nearly 10 percent from last year and the most ever in the survey's 10-year history.
Not everyone will dig as deeply into their wallets, however. The average male is expected to spend $168.74 — nearly twice as much as women — on clothing, jewelry and greeting cards, among other things.
Data shows consumers spend the most on their better halves, an average of $74. They’ll also spend an average of more than $25 on their children, parents or other family members, nearly $7 on friends and even $4.50 on their pets.
The 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions study is based on surveys of more than 9,000 U.S. consumers.