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Love is in the air!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day is around the corner, and lots of people are scrambling for some last-minute gift ideas to express their love. There are conflicting reports as to whether flowers or a romantic dinner will top the list of most popular ways to say "I love you." If you're a man, you will most likely run out for a bouquet of flowers for your sweetie. According to the National Retail Federation, 58% of men plan on giving flowers. (That's in keeping with the over 50 million roses given for Valentine's Day each year.) Another report by Discover Card (paid subscription required) contends that a special dinner will top the list for both men and women.

One thing is for sure: spending for this red-hot day will increase over last year. The "2007 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey," conducted for NRF by BIGresearch, estimates that the average consumer will spend $119.67 this Valentine's Day, up from $100.89 last year. Both Discover and the National Retail Federation agree that men will outspend women. For those of you who really wait until the last minute -- and many of us do -- there is always the e-card, no stamp required. If you have a little time, however, it may mean more to give the real thing. A study by Harris Interactive (paid subscription required) found that 56% of men and 79% of women save the Valentine's Day cards they receive. We all know that cards last a lot longer than chocolates or flowers.

And if you do play cupid this year, you'll be one of more than 1 billion people to send a Valentine!