EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Retail spending ranks Valentine’s Day as the fourth most popular holiday, with Borderland residents expected to spend millions of dollars on the holiday for sweethearts.

UTEP Economics Professor Tom Fullerton tells KTSM that restaurants, gift shops, florists, spas, anything that involves couples, will see a positive impact from the holiday.

“National Retail Federation anticipates that Valentine’s Day expenditures in 2023 are going to jump by more than 20 percent more than last year,” Fullerton said.

U.S. consumers are forecasted to spend $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day this year.

“That translates into about $50 million of Valentine’s Day activity here in El Paso and $11.2 million of Valentine’s Day related sales in Las Cruces,” Fullerton said. “So these are big regional expenditure patterns for both of the north urban economies of the Borderplex region.”

Fullerton says consumers are likely to spend an average of $127 on Valentine’s Day.

“U.S. consumers are in a bad mood. They don’t like the high rate of inflation that has been observed in the United States in recent months. They don’t like the higher interest rates that keeping going up throughout the country,” Fullerton said.

With unemployment low, Fullerton expects to see an increase in retail spending this year.

“Businesses right now are struggling in El Paso and Las Cruces because of higher interest rates of financing day-to-day operations are much more expensive this year than it was last year or the previous year and so profit margins have been reduced,” he said.

On a negative note, Fullerton says he expects business bankruptcies will increase in El Paso and Las Cruces this year.

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