Travel, spending expected to be down around Fourth of July

Becuase it falls on a Wednesday, fewer people will celebrate the Fourth of July or spend money on the holiday this year.
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Becuase it falls on a Wednesday, fewer people will celebrate the Fourth of July or spend money on the holiday this year.

The amout consumers will spend on Fourth of July will drop slightly this year because the holiday falls on a Wednesday.

Americans are expected to spend $6.9 billion for Fourth of July cookouts and picnics, down from $7.1 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

More than 216 million Americans plan to observe Independence Day, down slightly from last year’s 219 million. Nearly 62 percent are planning a cookout or picnic, spending an average of $75.35 per person on food items, a new record topping last year’s $73.42.

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“With the holiday falling in the middle of the week, a few less Americans will be free to celebrate and that affects spending totals,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “But those who are celebrating by attending or hosting a cookout or picnic, are actually spending more, and retailers will be ready with red-white-and-blue decorations, apparel and food.”

In addition to food, 106 million Americans will celebrate Independence Day with fireworks or community celebrations and 30 million will attend parades.

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Fourth of July is also a popular time for traveling with 31 million planning to head out of town. That’s down from last year’s 33 million and travelers said higher gas prices would affect their plans, but the decline in travel could also be related to the timing of the holiday.

Over a quarter of all Americans plan to buy more patriotic decorations for the holiday this year, according to the survey. Only 27 percent plan to purchase additional patriotic merchandise, but the number jumps to 44 percent for those ages 18-24 and declines steadily for older individuals.

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