A thriftier Halloween

By The Mercury

It doesn’t seem from a drive around town that area residents have cut back on Halloween spending. If anything, there are more decorations, from inflatable jack-o-lanterns, ghosts and other creatures to spiders and webbing, zombies and tombstones in people’s yards.

How many parties and how extravagant they are isn’t clear from the street because most of those occur indoors. As for costumes and candy, we’ll know more on Thursday, but local spending on those items might also defy the national trend.

That trend is downward, and possible culprits include an economy that can’t quite shift into high gear and the ghoulish lawmakers who shut the government down for 16 days earlier this month. The larger impact of that has been estimated at $24 billion; perhaps $1 billion of that might be associated with Halloween.

The National Association of Retailers estimated last year’s total Halloween spending at $8 billion. Citing the shutdown, the association estimated spending this year at $6.9 billion. That’s a sharp drop, but it’ll still buy a lot of goodies.

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