Spending for the Easter holiday is expected to reach $18.4 billion, up 6% from $17.3 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation, a record high for the 14-year-old annual survey. Individual spending will be an average $152, up from last year's record $146. Easter 2017 takes place three weeks later than last year. Coupled with the warm weather, shoppers will be "in the frame of mind to splurge on spring apparel along with Easter decorations," said NRF Chief Executive Matthew Shay in a statement. Customers will spend $5.8 billion on food, $3.3 billion on clothing, $1.1 billion on decorations, and $2.26 billion on candy, the group said. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF is down 7.7% for the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 15.6% for the same period.
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