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    Valentine's Day spending to top $17 bln in U.S.

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    Americans are expected to spend a total of over $17 billion on Valentine's Day gifts, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch.

    WASHINGTON, February 14 (RIA Novosti) - Americans are expected to spend a total of over $17 billion on Valentine's Day gifts, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch.

    The average American plans to spend $122.9 on gifts, slightly up from last year's $119.6.

    Almost half of the U.S. population (48.2%) who will celebrate the holiday, which is traced back to a Catholic Church feast day that honored St. Valentine, plan an evening at a restaurant.

    Candy and flowers remain popular holiday gifts, with about 50% and 35.9% of respondents planning to buy chocolate and some type of flower respectively. And 11.8% will buy clothes for their other halves.

    Men have historically been bigger spenders on St. Valentine's Day. This year, the average male is expected to spend $163, nearly the double the $84.7 the average female will spend, according to the survey.

    The holiday will be celebrated by six of 10 people surveyed, according to the poll that was conducted among 8,447 consumers.

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