More Trick than Treat

Why this year's Halloween will be the priciest ever

How's this for a late-october shock: Americans are expected to spend a record $8 billion on Halloween-related products and activities this year, up 17% from 2011. (For reference, that's enough to buy almost 2 billion pumpkins, 3 billion bags of candy corn or the best Donald Trump costume ever.) What's driving that increase? Americans' expanding pocketbooks, for one. As the economy rebounds, big Halloween retailers are pumping up prices, hoping customers will be less stingy with their discretionary income. "It's this new sense of normal," says Kathy Grannis of the National Retail Federation. "People know that prices have increased for the...

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