Valentine’s Day Spending in 2023 Expected to Reach Nearly $26 Billion

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and despite record-high inflation, rising interest rates, and fears of a recession looming on the horizon, Americans are overwhelmingly excited to celebrate all things love in 2023.

More than half of Americans are expected to participate in Valentine’s Day in some capacity in 2023, spending a record high – nearly $26 billion to treat their loved ones to something special this year, compared to spending roughly $24 billion in 2022, according to the annual Valentine’s Day survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. 

Of the 52 percent of Americans who plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2023, it’s expected they will each spend around $192.80, the highest amount since NRF and Prosper started tracking Valentine’s Day spending in 2004. This is also an increase from Valentine’s Day spending in 2022 when the average person spent roughly $175 on Valentine’s Day celebrations.

While consumers are anticipated to spend the same amount as last year on Valentine’s Day goodies for their significant others and family members, part of the increase in spending comes as consumers want to show appreciation for the other meaningful relationships in their lives this Valentine’s Day as well. This means that of the $17 increase in per-person spending from last year, $14 comes from consumers’ decision to include gifts for pets, friends, co-workers, as well as classmates, or teachers this year too.

“Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to shop for the people we care most about,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

Although the average consumer is expected to spend nearly $193 on Valentine’s Day, those aged 35 to 44 plan to outspend other age groups by roughly $143, allocating $335.71 for gifts and other Valentine’s Day items.

The top Valentine’s Day gifts in 2023 include: 

  1. Candy (57 percent)

  2. Greeting cards (40 percent)

  3. Flowers (37 percent)

  4. An evening out (32 percent)

  5. Jewelry (21 percent)

  6. Gift cards (20 percent) 

  7. Clothing (19 percent)

14 Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas When on a Budget

Although jewelry isn’t top of the list this Valentine’s Day, with around 1 in 5 consumers planning precious gem gifts, jewelry sales are expected to exceed $5.5 billion this Valentine’s Day. 

For those taking their significant other out for a night out on the town, spending is expected to total around $4.4 billion. Although the cost of a night out may be more than candy, greeting cards, and even flowers combined, more and more consumers are flocking toward gifts of experience this Valentine’s Day. About one-third (32 percent) of consumers plan to give a gift of experience, up from 26 percent last year and the highest since NRF and Prosper started asking this question in 2017.

“Men, in particular, are more likely to give a gift of experience compared with last year,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Another notable finding is more than half of consumers say they will take advantage of sales and promotions as they celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.”

Even among those who don’t plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, 28 percent reported they will still mark the special occasion in some way, seeking non-Valentine’s gifts, treating themselves to something special, or planning a get-together or evening out with single friends and family members. 

Looking for Budget-friendly Valentine’s Day ideas? Check out our blog: 14 Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas When on a Budget

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