Washington, D.C. The National Retail Federation’s 2009 Graduation Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, released Thursday, found that 58.9% of Americans who will buy for graduates will give cash, up from 56.8% last year.
Just 29.4% will give gift cards, down from 32.2% last year.
The survey, conducted by BIGresearch, also found Americans will spend an average of $88.01 on gifts, down from $99.79 last year. Total spending on graduation gifts is expected to reach $3.9 billion.
“Many students will pool graduation money for major purchases such as electronics, furniture and housewares,” said NRF president and CEO Tracy Mullin. “Young adults will have tremendous buying power in the next several months.”
The survey found other popular graduation gifts to include greeting cards (37.0%), electronics (9.0%) and apparel (9.9%).
The poll of 8,447 consumers was conducted from May 5 to May 12.