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With March behind, retailers look to Easter in April

NRF: Holiday spending to be up over 2010

WASHINGTON — While the calendar shift of Easter may have taken a toll on retailers' march performance, April sales should see a boost, as the National Retail Federation noted that consumers intend to spend more this year than in 2010.

NRF’s "2011 Consumer Intentions and Actions" survey, conducted by BIGresearch from March 1 to 8, noted that the average consumer is expected to spend $131.04 for the holiday — up from last year’s $118.60. Among all of the retail categories, food and candy will account for most of a consumer’s budget, bringing in $2.1 billion and $4.5 billion, respectively. The average person also will spend slightly more on each than they did last year — $18.55 on candy, compared with $17.29 last year, and $40.05 on food, up from $37.45 last year.

Though the numbers are not quite above pre-recession levels, it still is a good sign of things to come, NRF noted, adding that the biggest spenders would be adults ages 25 to 34 years, as well as young adults (ages 18 to 24 years).

“Due to such a late holiday, Easter promotions will last all spring long,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Though lingering concerns over food and energy prices may keep shoppers from splurging, retailers are expecting consumers to stock up on apparel, home decor and, of course, food and candy, a good sign leading into the much busier and important months to come.”

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