Halloween spending a shade of its former self

As consumers take a crack at saving money and paying off credit card debt, a recent survey may make some retailers go “Boo.”

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, the average amount people expect to spend on the holiday this year dropped to $56.31, down from $66.54 the year prior.

The survey, which was conducted by BIGresearch, showed that overall almost 30 percent of respondents said the state of the economy is going to affect how much they spend on Halloween. Of those most affected by the negative economy, 88 percent said they plan on spending less.

When it comes to saving money, about 46 percent of respondents said they would be buying less candy than last year. Furthermore, about 35 percent said they would reuse last year’s decorations, while almost 16 percent said they would reuse costumes.

Tracy Mullin, president and chief executive officer of the National Retail Federation, noted that the effects of a bad economy are starting to catch up with Halloween.

“Since retailers know that Americans will be looking to celebrate on a budget, there’s no doubt we will see creative costume and decorating ideas in every price point imaginable,” Mullin said.

A recent report from Deloitte Research shows the organization expects shopping for the winter holiday season to be about even with last year at $810 billion.