Study Forecasts St. Patrick's Day Spending to Fall

Posted on March 3, 2009

Wear Green phaseSt. Patrick's Day falls on March 17th this year. A new NRF study has found that Americans are more likely to stash any "pot o' gold" they find rather than spend it on St. Patrick's Day. According to NRF's St. Patrick's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, people celebrating the Irish holiday will spend an average of $32.80 on decorations, food and beverage and festive attire, compared to an average of $35.04 in 2008 - a 6.4% drop. Total spending is expected to reach $3.29 billion. Despite the fall in spending, over 80% of those surveyed still plan to wear green on St. Patrick's Day.

While young adults are usually eager to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, 18-24 year-old spending is expected to decrease from an average of $42.20 last year to $36.05 this year. According to the survey, 25-34 year-olds will spend the most, with an average of $39.42 per person.

NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin says in a statement, "Increased concern about the economy among young adults has forced many of them to pull back on discretionary spending. Many Americans will celebrate St. Patrick's Day in small ways with special meals or a few decorations."

81.9% of the people surveyed said they will wear green for St. Patrick's Day. About 33% will make a special dinner and one in five (21.8%) will decorate their home or office. Small private parties (16.7%) and bar/restaurant celebrations and gatherings (29.6%) will also be popular.