Halloween Candy Sales Are Sending Good Economic Signals

No tricks, just treats.

The M&M's store in Times Square in New York.

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

U.S. consumers don't have to dress up for Halloween—they're already superheroes of the 2016 economy.

A number of economic factors are helping the consumer this year, and a new report from IHS Global Insights highlights how the amount expected to be spent on Halloween candy is a perfect symbol of that strength.

"Overall, real consumer spending has been relatively strong since last Halloween due to modest consumer price inflation, low gasoline prices, better employment opportunities, and improved household finances," Chris Christopher, IHS Global Insights' director of consumer economics points out. 

The team expects spending on Halloween candy to experience the strongest increase since 2011, rising 5.5 percent and hitting $3.8 billion. In 2014 and 2015, spending on Halloween candy was up 5 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. The report defined spending on Halloween candy as estimated October personal consumption expenditures, seasonally adjusted, on candy and chewing gum.

Screen Shot 2016-10-27 at 1.50.11 PM
IHS Global Insights

The additional spending isn't due to an increase in the prices of Halloween candy, either, as those are expected to decline for the first time since 2013. 

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IHS Global Insights

Since last Halloween, unemployment has stayed near 5 percent, wages have been rising at a faster clip, and gasoline prices are up a mere 3 cents. "Many households have been using their pump price relief to pay down debt, save a little bit more, and dine out," Christopher adds.

Looks like buying more Halloween candy is another popular place to spend some of the extra cash. 

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