Hughes: Halloween Treats Win over Inflation

Nationwide, the price of candy was upabout 13% in September compared with a year earlier, according to figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Datasembly, a research firm that tracks consumer prices, found one of the sharpest increases among grocery items in the candy aisle.

While there’s no data on Halloween costumes in particular, the cost for apparel and clothing rose 2.2% between September 2021 and last month, according to federal statistics. That includes a 5.5% jump over the summer.

Americans are expected to spend $3.6 billion on costumes, $3.4 billion on decorations, $3.1 billion on candy and $600 million on greeting cards for Halloween this year, the trade group said in a recent survey.

Enough people “want to get away from the gloom” of the pandemic that they may be willing to grit their teeth and pay up, said James W. Hughes, dean emeritus of Rutgers’ Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. “It looks like this is sort of a post-pandemic expression of wanting to get back to normal,” Hughes said in a phone interview., October 27, 2022