Happy Easter, indeed: U.S. consumers are expected to spend $2.6 billion on candy this year’s holiday, according to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Overall, shoppers are projected to spend $18.2 billion on food, clothing, flowers, decorations and gifts, marking the second-highest level in the history of the survey. Thanks to a late-April Easter, Americans were expected to spend a record $18.4 billion in 2017.
“Despite a modest drop, the Easter forecast is still very positive and nearly as high as last year’s record,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumer spending remains healthy both for this holiday and this spring, and that paints an optimistic picture for the U.S. economy in the year ahead.”
Just over 80 percent of Americans said they will celebrate Easter, spending an average of $150 per person. That’s down from last year’s previous record of $152.
More specifically, 87 percent said they’d buy food for Easter celebrations, for a projected total of $5.7 billion. Nearly half (48 percent) of consumers will spend on clothing, dropping a total of $3.2 billion. 
Furthermore, just over 60 percent of consumers will spend nearly $3 billion on gifts, while 39 percent will spend $1.3 billion on flowers. Shoppers will shell out $1.1 billion on decorations and $780 million on greeting cards.
In preparation for the holiday, 59 percent of consumers will shop at discount stores, 46 percent will visit department stores, 28 percent will make purchases online, 25 percent will go to a specialty store and 25 percent will go to a small business or local store. Among smartphone users, 30 percent will research products or compare prices on their devices, while 19 percent will use their phones to make a purchase.
On Easter Sunday, 60 percent of consumers said they will visit family and friends, while 58 percent will cook a holiday meal, 51 percent will go to church and 17 percent will go to a restaurant. 
The Easter Bunny is expected to have a busy holiday season: 35 percent of consumers will participate in an Easter egg hunt and 16 percent will open gifts. In addition to traditional holiday events, some consumers will pursue more leisurely activities: 45 percent will watch TV, 11 percent will shop online, 9 percent will shop in a store and 8 percent will go to a movie.
The survey, which asked 7,737 consumers about their Easter plans, was conducted March 2-14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.