Holiday Economics

October 30th, 2006

So which special occasions do we (well, the US) spend the most money on? The National Retail Federation has the breakdown (via Snopes):

  1. Christmas (‘winter holidays’): $438.6 billion.
  2. Back to school: $54.2 billion.
  3. Mother’s day: $13.8 billion.
  4. Valentine’s day: $13.7 billion.
  5. Easter: $12.6 billion.
  6. Father’s day: $9.0 billion.
  7. Super Bowl: $5.3 billion.
  8. Halloween: $5.0 billion.
  9. St Patrick’s day: $2.7 billion.

A few surprises there. Firstly, why so much on Easter? Mother’s day and Valentine’s day are both going to have a lot of gift giving in there. Are there social/religious groups that give out presents at Easter? And secondly, clearly fathers are getting the raw deal, with a $4.8 billion shortfall! (Although you could argue that it still doesn’t make up for the $5.3 billion on the Super Bowl).

Finally: St Patrick’s day, $2.7 billion? That’s enough to buy about 3,070,000,000 litres of beer, or around 10 litres for every man, woman and child in the US. Good going!

(Although that’s American beer, so it would have the alcohol content of about 3 Australian beers…)