The "Love" Market: Fun Valentine's Day Facts
Ahhh love is in the air! Yes, Valentine's Day is this coming Sunday and the market sure knows it. Valentine's Day typically occurs during the peak of earnings season, so it often falls by the wayside on the surface. However, the holiday is one of the biggest market drivers of the year...and for all the reasons you think it would. There are a few interesting areas that analysts like to read on and around Valentine's Day because they provide a lot of important clues to the current state of the economy. Below are a few fun data points that analysts pay attention to around the day of love.
1. LPL Financial, a research firm, created a "Valentine's Day Index" and found that the cost of the four major Valentine's gift categories show signs of inflation. The prices for all of these categories rose by 1.3% over the previous year, which is much higher than the overall inflation rate for the economy versus the previous year.
2. Dinner and a movie is the most expensive of these dates over the prior year, up about 3.1% over the same time a year ago.
3. The price for a babysitter in these expenses also boosts the overall amount a consumer will spend for a night on the town without kids.
4. The price of the four most common gifts for Valentine's Day - candy, flowers, a home cooked dinner and a bottle of wine/champagne - is higher over 2015 due to rising food costs. On the other hand, the price of jewelry has actually fallen over the prior year by about 1.0%.
5. Consumers are expected to spend on average $146.84 on Valentine's Day in 2016 versus $ in 2015.
6. There is such a thing as a "Mistress Index": Unofficially, February is also known as "Mistress Day," the day that straying boyfriends and husbands set aside for the "other woman" - since they're spending the actual Valentine's Day with their girlfriends and wives. Typically, when the economy is really doing well, this index increases since the cheating businessman crowd end up spending a massive amount of money on jewelry and expensive gifts for their mistresses/lovers.
7. On average, these cheating men end up spending THREE times as much money on gifts for their mistresses than they do for their wives.
8. When the spending is greater on the mistresses, the industries that tend to outperform are hotels, jewelry, and luxury brands for clothes and handbags.