Halloween Spending Estimated to Reach $8 Billion; Big Bird is Most Popular Costume

With Halloween fast approaching, consumers are prepping to forget the economic downturn and focus on some spooky fun.

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, consumer spending on Halloween is expected to reach $8 billion.

The survey also found that the average person will spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy. This number is up from $72.31 last year from what consumers spent on the celebration.

Time magazine reports that consumers are expected to spend $370 million just on pet costumes.

"Expect to see dogs dressed as tacos, skunks, crayons, dinosaurs, chefs, princesses, leprechauns, flowers, and even as Gumby.... if you can imagine it, there's a costume. Last year's top-selling costumes were pumpkins, devils, and hot dogs," says Time writer Kit Yarrow.

This year's pet costume spending estimate is $70 million more than last year's figure.

"By the time Halloween rolls around each year it's safe to say Americans have already spent two months preparing for one of the fastest-growing and most widely-loved holidays of the year," said NRF president and chief executive Matthew Shay.

The survey found that the number of Americans celebrating Halloween has jumped up 10 percent from last year to a total of 70 percent in 2012.

The NRF commented on the increase of consumer spending saying, "when the economy is down, Halloween spending soars."

The spooky holiday has become a time for people to celebrate and have a little fun after experiencing a year of hard times.

Prices of costumes vary from $30 children's superhero outfits to pricier options like a full Darth Vader suit for $799. One of this year's most popular costumes is Big Bird from "Sesame Street" as the character has been singled out from comments made by Governor Romney in his debate with President Obama, who are also expected to be used as costumes as this Halloween comes days before the election.

Halloween has risen from the grave to become the second-largest holiday in the US second only to Christmas.

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