REPORT Halloween Spending Exceeded 2016 Election Spending

Halloween has come and gone, leaving us with extra decorations, way too much candy and a sobering realization: Halloween is expensive! Americans spent more than $9 billion on costumes, candy and other holiday treats this year — an 8.3 percent increase from last year’s previous record of $8.4 billion.

And it’s only a drop in the ocean compared to Christmas spending. End-of-year holiday shopping is expected to exceed $1 trillion. This doesn’t even take into account the untold millions — perhaps even billions — of dollars advertisers will spend between October and December. From spooky movie trailers to Christmas-themed commercials, America’s airwaves will be flooded with ad after ad after ad.

It’s an eye-popping amount of money spent for two or three days on the calendar. And it’s frightening how much more Americans spend on Halloween — let alone Christmas — than on each two-year election cycle.

Election 2016’s final price tag — the heftiest in US history — was about $6.8 billion for all federal elections (and an estimated $1 billion is double-counted — tallied once when the PAC gets the money and again when the candidate receives it). That’s substantially less than all of the Snickers bars and zombie costumes bought this Halloween. It’s also less than 1 percent of what Americans will spend stuffing their stockings and decorating their trees in December.

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