HOUSTON — Feb. 14 is a day for hearts, flowers and lots of money, especially this year.
A survey by the National Retail Federation shows Valentine’s Day 2019 will be the most expensive one yet. They found Americans will spend on average $161.96 each to lavish their loved ones. That’s up almost $20, about 13 percent in just a year. The average in 2018 was $143.56.
The total spending is expected to be more than $20 billion for that one day alone, which is up 6 percent over 2018.
That’s with fewer people celebrating, a number that continues to drop every year -- from 63 percent of people 10 years ago to only about half of them, 51 percent this year.
But the burning question all lovers want to know: What’s inside that pretty little present?
Loved ones plan to spend $3.9 billion on jewelry, $3.5 billion on a night out, $2.1 billion on clothes, $1.9 billion on flowers, $1.8 billion on candy -- and less, but still a lot -- on both gift and greeting cards: $1.3 billion on gift cards and $933 million on greeting cards.
But even those who might be a little lonely may still spend something on their one and only. 11 percent plan to treat themselves, and 9 percent plan to mingle with other singles.