Traditional Valentine’s Day celebrations and gift exchanges might look a bit different this year now that inflation has hit a fresh 40-year high.
Prices are rising between 10% and 15% on average for most sought-after gifts, Marshal Cohen, NPD Group chief retail industry adviser, told FOX Business.
The consumer price index rose 7.5% in January from a year ago, according to a new Labor Department report released Thursday, marking the fastest increase since February 1982, when inflation hit 7.6%.
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“We’ve got this elevated level of things from greeting cards to flowers to chocolates,” Cohen said.
On top of that, “that fancy dinner that you’re going to want to take your loved one out for” is also going to cost more, too.
INFLATION ACCELERATES 7.5% IN JANUARY, HITTING A FRESH 40-YEAR HIGH
Although restaurants are traditionally more expensive on Valentine’s Day, Cohen said this year it’s going to cost close to 20% to 25% more. Even making a meal will cost more – up to 10%.
“We’ve got elevated prices every which way we’re looking,” he said.
Aside from inflation, the omicron variant of COVID-19 is still rapidly spreading throughout the country, which means traveling and eating out is still a big concern, Cohen noted.
“It’s hard to get into some of your favorite restaurants just because they don’t have the capacity to do it,” he said.
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In turn, consumers are being forced to think a little more creatively in terms of gift-giving and their night plans. This may come in the form of home-cooked meals or even DIY gifts, he noted.
“[You] may not be getting the same gift that you’ve always gotten year after year,” he said. “This Valentine’s Day, it’s more going to be about the thought than the quantity and the amount we spend.”
FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.