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Men to splurge twice as much as women this Valentine's Day

The average male will most likely spend 168.74 dollars this Valentine's Day, which is almost twice as much as women, a new study has claimed.

According to the research, Americans will profess their love this Valentine's Day by digging deeper into their wallets than ever before.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that total spending this Valentine's Day is expected to reach 17.6 billion dollars, with the average person shelling out more than 126 dollars, up nearly 10 percent from last year and the most ever in the survey's 10-year history.

Consumers will spend the most on their better halves, the data shows, with the average person spending 74 dollars on their spouse or significant other. Additionally, consumers will dole out an average of more than 25 dollars on their children, parents or other family members, nearly 7 dollars on friends and 4.50 dollars on their pets.

"As one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year, it's encouraging that consumers are still exhibiting the desire to spend on discretionary gift items, a strong indication our economy continues to move in the right direction," said Matthew Shay, NRF president and chief executive officer.

"Anticipating high foot traffic in the coming weeks, retailers have replenished their inventories and will entice eager shoppers with great deals on everything from special menu items at restaurants to clothing to flowers and, of course, chocolates."

Men will do the bulk of the shopping this year, the survey found. The shopping will comprise clothing, jewellery and greeting cards, among other things.

Jewellery is garnering the most attention from Valentine's Day shoppers this year. Total spending on rings, necklaces and other bling is projected to reach 4.1 billion dollars, up from 3.5 billion dollars last year, according to the research.

Evenings out are also a hot commodity, with consumers expected to spend 3.5 billion dollars for special nights out on the town. Shoppers will also spend more than 1 billion dollars on each category including: flowers, candy, clothing and gift cards.

Though discount stores are expected to see the most traffic, the research found that one-third of shoppers will head to department stores, up from 30 percent last year.

Online retailers will also see a nice boost from the business of love, with nearly 20 percent of shoppers spending their money via the Internet.

The 2012 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions study is based on surveys of more than 9,000 U.S. consumers.

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