Retailers and restaurants might have a little more luck o’ the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day as consumers gear up for private parties and special outings to celebrate the Irish holiday.  According to NRF’s 2010 St. Patrick’s Day, conducted by BIGresearch, celebrants will spend an average of $33.05 on decorations, party favors and green attire, up slightly from $32.80 in 2009.  Total spending is expected to reach $3.44 billion.

“With many people still worried about the economy, St. Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity for consumers to have a little fun,” said Tracy Mullin, President and CEO, NRF. “Retailers as well as restaurants should see an increase in traffic this year as people begin to shake off their winter blues and celebrate this traditionally festive holiday with friends and family.”

Of those planning on celebrating, eight out of 10 (80.8%) will simply put on their brightest green tie or sweater, but others want to have a bit more fun – nearly three out of 10 (29.6%) will attend a party at a bar or restaurant. Another third will stay at home and cook a traditional meal (33.3%). However, it seems the real interest this year is in heading to a private party (18.9% vs. 16.7% in 2009) or decorating a home or office (23.3% vs. 21.8% in 2009.)

“With limited budgets for their discretionary expenditures, partygoers will look for inexpensive ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Private parties are a great way to save money as friends and family can share all the costs.”

Irish or not, the holiday usually draws the interest of all ages. Having cut back on holiday festivities last year due to a weak economy, young adults seem to be back in the swing of things this year with the average 18-24 expected to spend $40.18, up from $36.05 in 2009.  Additionally, 39.2% of young adults are planning on attending a private party, compared to 35.4% in 2009.

“2010 St. Patrick’s Day,” conducted for the National Retail Federation by BIGresearch.  Web.  8 Mar. 2010.