The scary-good Halloween spending projections from the National Retail Federation are no trick, but they sure are a treat.
The NRF, in partnership with Prosper Insights & Analytics, polled 7,013 consumers about Halloween shopping habits during the second and third weeks of September, and results indicate shoppers will spend a record $9.1 billion for the 2017 holiday, up 8.3 percent from last year’s record of $8.4 billion.
Nearly 95 percent of consumers will spend on candy — and 71 percent will hand it out — representing an estimated $2.7 billion in sales. That’s up from $2.5 billion last year.
However, consumers are expected to shell out the the most for costumes — $3.4 billion. In fact, just over 48 percent of shoppers say they’ll dress in costume, and 16 percent will dress up their four-legged friends. Consumers are also expected to spend $2.7 billion on decorations and $400 million on greeting cards.
“Americans are planning to spend more than ever as they gear up for Halloween,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are helping customers celebrate in style with a huge selection of costumes, candy and decorations to cater to ghosts and goblins of all ages.”
Nearly 180 million Americans are expected to take part in Halloween activities, the NRF says. That’s about 8 million more than in 2016. And, on average, consumers are expected to drop $86.13 for the holiday, up from last year’s $82.93. 
Here’s some more spook-tacular news: Only 12.9 percent of consumers said the economy will impact their spending, down from 14.1 percent last year and a peak of 32.1 percent in 2011.
“Halloween continues to be a highly anticipated holiday for Americans, who will spend a record amount this year with increases across all purchasing categories,” said Pam Goodfellow, Prosper Insights principal analyst. “Expect consumers to be on the lookout for early-bird promotions both online and in-store as they hunt for the best items to complete their costumes and embellish their homes.”
Just over 41 percent of consumers will find Halloween deals at discount stores, while 37.5 percent will go to dedicated Halloween stores. Another quarter will pick up Halloween necessities at grocery stores, while 22 percent will get what they need online.
Speaking of online retailers, has released data that adds another angle to holiday projections. The bulk candy dealer compiled sales data from the last decade (2007-2016), and after confirming with major manufacturers, determined the top-selling candies in each state.
In Illinois -- where Candy Industry is based — Sour Patch Kids took the top spot. KitKat came in second and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups took third. California, the United States’ most populous state, prefers M&M’s, though salt water taffy and Skittles weren’t far behind.
And what about candy corn, arguably the most polarizing of Halloween treats? Alabama, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, South Carolina and Rhode Island claim it as their favorite. It took the second spot in Nevada and New York and the third in Delaware, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota and Virginia.
That’s more for them, as far as I’m concerned. I’ll take an Almond Joy or a Twix any day. But no matter what treats end up in my Halloween bowl, they’re sure to be sweet. Happy Halloween!