May 23, 2019
2019 Graduation gift spending trends

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, 34 percent of respondents will purchase a graduation gift this year. The NRF survey found 45 percent 18-24 year-olds plan to give a graduation gift, spending an average of $73.87 — cash and cards being the most purchased gifts.

Notable figures from the NRF’s survey indicated the largest spending will come from 45-54 year-olds who are expected to spend the most —  $119.86 — and have a child at home. Grandparents, age 65 and older, are expected to give an average of $107.13.

“Graduation is a huge milestone for students and parents alike, and retailers are ready to help make it even more memorable,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO at NFR. “Cash might be the most popular item, but an assortment of graduation gifts from greeting cards and gift cards to clothing and electronics will tempt shoppers.”

“One growing trend we have noticed year over year is the fact that peers continue to give gifts to each other,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president for Prosper Insights. “Most prefer to give cash, along with the quintessential graduation gift card, to celebrate.”

In 2018, graduation spending reached $5.2 billion. And in 2019 NRF’s report estimated a spending of $5.5 billion, similar to last year’s figures. NRF indicated that about 53 percent of gifts given will be cash, but cards (41 percent), as well as gift cards (33 percent), are expected to be popular with consumers.

NRF’s annual graduation spending survey is released annually in May.

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