Overall spending will exceed $19B.

WASHINGTON – U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average $143.56 on Valentine’s Day as 55 percent of the population celebrates this year, an increase from last year’s $136.57, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Total spending is expected to reach $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion last year.

And a chunk of that spending will be directed at pets. Consumers plan to spend an average of $5.50 on their pets, for a total of $751 million.

At the same time, the survey found consumers plan to spend an average $88.98 on their significant other/spouse ($12.1 billion), $25.29 on other family members such as children or parents ($3.5 billion), $7.26 on children’s classmates/teachers ($991 million), $7.19 on friends ($982 million) and $4.79 on co-workers ($654 million). Those 25-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average of $202.76.

The total spending numbers are the second-highest in the survey’s 15-year history, topped only by the record $146.84 and $19.7 billion seen in 2016.

Much the same as last year, consumers plan to shop at department stores (35 percent), discount stores (32 percent), online (29 percent), specialty stores (19 percent), florists (17 percent), and local small businesses (14 percent).

The survey, which asked 7,277 consumers about their Valentine’s Day plans, was conducted Jan. 3-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

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