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Mother’s Day Spending Expected to Dip Following 2023 Record

American consumers are projected to spend $33.5 billion on their moms next month.

That’s according to new data from the National Retail Federation (NRF), which noted that amount is the second-highest in the history of its surveys of spending on Mother’s Day, following last year’s record of $35.7 billion.

“Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate the women who play a meaningful role in our lives,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release Thursday (April 25).

“Retailers know the significant importance of this day and are ready to help their customers with a wide selection of meaningful gifts for loved ones to show their appreciation.” 

According to the NRF, 84% of American adults are expected to celebrate the holiday, spending an average of $254. That’s also a drop from 2023, when per-person Mother’s Day spending reached a record $274.

The biggest spenders are forecast to be people ages 35 to 44, who are setting aside an average $345.75 for the holiday. As with years past, flowers will be the most popular gift, purchased by 74% of consumers, followed by greeting cards (74%) and special outings such as dinner or brunch (59%).  

The NRF’s findings came the same day that the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released data showing that the economy grew at an annualized pace of 1.6% during the first quarter, missing estimates of around 2.5% growth. This marked a notable slowdown from the fourth quarter’s annualized pace of 3.4%.

The data also slowed personal consumption growth falling to 2.5% from the 3.3% seen in the fourth quarter, reflecting a drop in spending on goods. The BEA noted that the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index rose 3.4%, compared with an increase of 1.8% in the fourth quarter of last year.

“In other words, inflation is rising faster than spending, which indicates there’s pressure on consumers showing up in the numbers — and dragging on the economy’s growth,” PYMNTS wrote, adding that it’s possible data released Friday may show GDP data revised up somewhat.

“But the trend illuminates that consumers, the key engine driving the economy, are finding it tougher to grapple with rising prices and to keep filling their baskets at the previous rate.”

Other PYMNTS coverage earlier this month showed that, per commentary from the big banks and from Discover Financial, lower-income consumers are slowing their purchases of many varieties of goods, including everyday essentials. Whether that means less spending on mom this year remains to be seen.

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