Survey: Halloween to Boost Retail Spending

Los Angeles Total spending this Halloween will rise 5% to $5.77 billion this year, according to IBISWorld Inc.

The business-research firm believes there are two main factors contributing to growth in Halloween sales: higher prices and pure escapism. Anxious families that have been consumed by the instability of the financial markets will view Halloween as an opportunity to forget about their finances and have some fun, the firm said.

"Back in 2002, when economic growth was fairly soft following the events of Sept. 11, we saw strong spending at Halloween," said George Van Horn, senior analyst at IBISWorld.

"Retailers will be pulling out all the promotional stops to ensure this year follows the pattern of 2002."

According to IBISWorld, this year's Halloween sales can be broken down into four product segments: Costumes, 35.9%; candy, 30.5%; decorations (including pumpkins), 27.4%; and greeting cards, 6.2%.

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