*The following is excerpted from an online article from USA Today.
Some folks may think Halloween-loving consumers are out of their gourds, but they're expected to spend big this year on everything from pumpkin-themed party goods to witch hats for their cats.
Total spending on costumes, candy, decorations and greeting cards should hit $7.4 billion this year, up slightly more than 7% from last year, says the National Retail Federation.
Boosting those sales projections is the fact that Halloween falls on a Friday. That means young trick-or-treaters and adult partygoers can both celebrate late into the night without having to worry about getting up for school or work, says NRF spokeswoman Kathy Grannis.
The NRF's Grannis notes that the average person is projected to spend $77.52 this year, up 60% from 2005.
This year, consumers will spend $1 billion on children's costumes and $1.4 billion on adult costumes, says the NRF.
Retailers are hopeful that no pet is left behind. In 2010, consumers said they would spent a total of $220 million on pet costumes. This year, that number is expected to hit $350 million, according to the NRF. About 23 million people are expected to dress up their pets this year, with a pumpkin, hot dog and devil ranking as the three most popular outfits.