A 'Hump Day' Fourth of July Slows Down Consumer Celebrations and Spending Totals | Financial Buzz

A Hump Day Fourth of July Slows Down Consumer Celebrations and Spending Totals

Americans are expected to spend $6.9 billion on food for Fourth of July
cookouts and picnics next month, according to the annual survey released
today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insight & Analytics.
That’s down from last year’s record $7.1 billion as fewer people say
they will turn out for the Wednesday holiday but is still the
second-highest amount in the history of the survey and per-person
spending is up.

“With the holiday falling in the middle of the week, a few less
Americans will be free to celebrate and that affects spending totals,”
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “But those who are celebrating
by attending or hosting a cookout or picnic, are actually spending more,
and retailers will be ready with red-white-and-blue decorations, apparel
and food.”

According to the survey, over 216 million Americans (87 percent) plan to
observe Independence Day, down slightly from last year’s 219 million (88
percent). Nearly 153 million (62 percent) are planning a cookout or
picnic, spending an average of $75.35 per person, a new record topping
last year’s $73.42. (The numbers cover only food items and not other
holiday-related items.)

Other Independence Day celebrations include partaking in fireworks or a
community celebration (106 million) and attending a parade (30 million).
Fourth of July is also a popular time for traveling with 31 million
planning to head out of town. That’s down from last year’s 33 million
and 25 percent said higher gas prices would affect their plans, but the
decline in travel could also be related to the timing of the holiday.

“Over a quarter of Americans plan to buy more patriotic decorations for
the holiday this year,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of
Strategy Phil Rist said. “We find young people really embrace this
holiday, which explains why young people are significantly more likely
to buy more patriotic-themed decorations or apparel for the holiday than
any other age group.”

The survey found that 62 percent of consumers already own an American
flag, 51 percent have patriotic apparel such as a T-shirt or hat, and 38
percent own decorations. Overall, only 27 percent plan to purchase
additional patriotic merchandise, but the number jumps to 44 percent for
those ages 18-24 and declines steadily for older individuals.

The survey of 7,199 consumers was conducted June 5-13 and has a margin
of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics

Prosper Insights & Analytics is a global leader in consumer intent data
serving the financial services, marketing technology, and retail
industries. We provide global authoritative market information on U.S.
and China consumers via curated insights and analytics. By integrating a
variety of data including economic, behavioral and attitudinal data,
Prosper helps companies accurately predict consumers’ future behavior to
help identify market behaviors, optimize marketing efforts, and improve
the effectiveness of demand generation campaigns. www.ProsperInsights.com

About NRF

The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade
association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and
department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street
merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet
retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is
the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four
U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to
annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

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