Planning to spend less on chocolates, flowers and dinner for Valentine’s Day 2017? You’re not alone.

Lovers are expected to spend less this Feb. 14 for the first time in nearly a decade.

Fresh flowers taped to the side of a parade float. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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A Ruth's Flowers sign fabricated by Morry Weseloh. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) neon; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite
A Ruth’s Flowers sign fabricated by Morry Weseloh. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

They say money can’t buy you love, but that hasn’t stopped Americans from opening their hearts and wallets and shelling out billions each year on Valentine’s Day chocolates, flowers and other gifts.

Lovers are expected to spend less this Feb. 14 for the first time in nearly a decade, according to the annual survey released Wednesday by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

On average, Americans are expected to spend $136.57 this year — down $10.27 from last year’s record-high. Total spending is expected to reach $18.2 billion — down $1.5 billion from 2016, according to the NRF.

People aren’t just spending less. Fewer people are celebrating Valentine’s Day altogether.

The number of people surveyed who plan to celebrate the holiday has dropped by nearly 10 percentage points from 63 percent in 2007 to 54 percent this year.

According to the U.S. Census, the number of single people has been steadily on the rise since the ’60s. But the Census is kind of old-fashioned and just looks at people not currently married. That was 79 percent of people 15 and older in Denver in 2015.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.