Booming Halloween Candy Sales a Good Sign For the Economy

© Boston Globe via Getty Images

By Gillie Houston Posted October 31, 2016

Halloween candy sales have gone up 5.5 percent– their biggest increase since 2011.

Despite troubling economic predictions hinting at a coming restaurant recession, one festive financial indicator has experts feeling hopeful: booming Halloween candy sales.

A new report by IHS Global Insights shows that this year's Halloween candy sales have gone up a sweet 5.5 percent– their biggest increase since 2011. The substantial jump puts total sales at $3.8 billion. According to Chris Christopher, IHS's global insights director of consumer economics, "real consumer spending has been relatively strong since last Halloween due to modest consumer price inflation, low gasoline prices, better employment opportunities, and improved household finances." In a nutshell, the economy is catching a break Kit Kat style.

Spending on autumn treats has increased each of the last few years, up 5 percent and 1.7 percent respectively in 2014 and 2015, Bloomberg reports. This spending on Halloween-specific treats is revealed in personal consumption expenditures on candy and chewing gum for October, adjusted for the expected seasonal uptick. Dentists will have mixed feelings about this; the American Dental Association has advised parents on limiting their kids' sugar intake to avoid tooth trouble.

Despite the dental risks, economists say that increased candy spending represents a good sign for the economy as a whole, as lower gas prices and higher wages allow more financial wiggle room for spending on non-essentials, like candy. However, ask any 8-year-old in a Ninja Turtles costume whether candy is really 'non-essential' and they're likely to disagree whole-heartedly.

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