Graduation Spending Expected to Top $4.6B This Year; Average of $49 per Recipient

Graduation season is upon us, and high school and college seniors across the country are looking forward to their next journey in life. As graduates scramble to set their summer plans, whether it’s an internship in the big city or vacationing with friends, there’s one thing the rest of us are preparing for – purchasing graduation gifts. Graduation

According to NRF’s latest graduation survey conducted by BIGinsight, family and friends want to make this milestone special for their loved ones while also staying on budget. On average, consumers will spend $49 per recipient, a slight decrease from last year’s $51.  This year’s survey also found that gift-​givers will purchase gifts for up to two graduates; shelling out an average of $94.

While these young adults are now on their way to making some of the most important decisions of their lives, consumers are willing to give them a push in the right direction with the most practical gift of all – cash.  An estimated 57% of consumers plan to give money. For grads, cash is the perfect gift for future needs from college expenditures to their first apartment.

Consumers will also say “congratulations” with gift cards (32%), apparel (11%), electronics (12%) and greeting cards (43%).

Total spending on graduation gifts is expected to top $4.6 billion this year, further illustrating that relatives and friends want to show their support and appreciation for the Class of 2013.

[Source:  Graduation survey, conducted by BIGinsight for the National Retail Federation (NRF).  15 May 2013.  Web.  16 May 2013.]