Valentine’s Day 2013: Couples To Spend, Knees To Bend

Americans are earmarking an average of $239 per person this year to spend on Valentine’s Day gifts, entertainment, dinning out and weekend getaways, up from $196 last year, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. While total spending is expected to increase, the number of people spending any money for Valentine’s Day is down to 69%, compared to 76% last year. While fewer wallets will open, more knees will bend: 6 million are planning to make or expecting to receive a proposal on February 14, up from 4 million in 2012.

Visit here for the full report and past Spending & Saving Tracker surveys

“Merchants should see moderate growth in Valentine’s Day spending,” said David Rabkin, SVP U.S. Consumer Lending Products, American Express. “More couples say they plan to spend, and spend more to make the day special. Topping the list are gifts, dinners out and going to the movies.”

Men plan to spend more than women on Valentine’s Day, yet women may not be as enamored with Cupid’s holiday as one would think. Over 30% of women in relationships think Valentine’s Day is overrated, while another 34% say it’s a fun holiday, but not a major occasion. Still, 35% of women feel it’s an important day to celebrate their relationship with their significant other.

Beyond Valentine’s Day, the majority of couples (79%) say they’ll invest in their relationship this year, including surprising each other with gifts (46%), scheduling regular date nights (37%) and planning at least one romantic getaway (29%).

Cupid’s Arrow Points to More Valentine’s Proposals

For some, relationship statuses are sure to change from single to engaged in 2013. Fourteen million Americans are expecting or planning a proposal some time this year (on par with 2012); 6 million are planning to pop or answer the question on Valentine’s Day. A romantic vacation or weekend getaway continues to be the most popular proposal setting (26%), followed by dinner at a restaurant (20%). However, more couples are keeping it simple, planning a special at-home meal (15% vs 8% in 2012).

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