New York -- Consumers expect to spend slightly more on Valentine's Day merchandise this year than last year, according to a report by market research firm IBISWorld.
The report forecasts spending of $134.08 per person, compared with last year's $133.99. Total revenue for the holiday is expected to grow by 3.2%, to $20.8 billion, despite incomes and consumer sentiments remaining below what they were before the recession.
"Although overall spending will increase slightly, consumers are still watching their wallets, and spending on expensive items will suffer as a consequence," IBISWorld industry analyst Lauren Setar said. "Due to these trends, Valentine's Day purchases are expected to trend toward conventional gifts, giving candy and flowers an edge this year."
In terms of specific product categories, spending on greeting cards is expected to increase 0.4% from 2012 to $866 million; candy sales are expected to increase by 4.3% to $2.89 billion; jewelry sales will increase by 2.2% to $1.61 billion; flower sales will increase by 5.7% to $1.78 billion; dining out will increase by 2.9% to $9.95 billion; clothing and lingerie sales will increase by 1.8% to $1.26 billion.