Hard times scare off Halloween's big spenders

Boo. Shoppers spooked about the economy are expected to lower overall Halloween spending this year by some 15 percent over last year, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

"The overriding theme for Americans' Halloween celebrations this year will be, 'How creative can I be, and how little can I spend?'" said Phil Rist of BIGresearch, which conducted the survey for the federation.

Expected to drop this year, according to the survey, the number of revelers dressing in costume, decorating their home and - gasp - handing out candy.

Here are some more numbers from the survey:


How much shoppers are expected to spend on average this Halloween, down from $66.54 last year.


How much last year's big spenders - young adults ages 18 to 24 - plan on shelling out this year on average, down more than 20 percent from $86.59 in 2008

1 in 2

Plan on buying less candy


How much consumers plan to spend on candy, down $2.40 from a year ago

1 in 3

Plan on making costumes or reusing last year's costumes


How much consumers plan to spend on costumes, down nearly $3.50 from a year ago