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Consumer Alert: Experts predict record Easter spending

This year, the National Retail Federation is predicting Americans will spend a record-breaking $152 per person. (WJAR)

Prepare for an epic Easter basket.

This year, the National Retail Federation is predicting Americans will spend a record-breaking $152 per person.

“It's up 6 percent from last year, and they're attributing that increase in spending due to the time of year that Easter is falling on this year,” said Kristen Regine, professor of marketing at Johnson & Wales University.

Timing impacts spending in several ways:

April vacation starts one day after Easter -- Monday, April 17 -- for most students. If you're going on a trip, you need to gear up.

The tax deadline is two days after Easter -- Tuesday, April 18 -- which means refund checks are coming in.

Americans have been cooped up inside for months. Shoppers are eager to get out and spend.

“Last year, Easter was in late March, so it was still really cold,” said Regine. “Whereas this year we have an expected temperature to be in the mid-60s, which means people are starting to think about Spring and they want new clothes.”

You can still expect a fairly traditional basket, though. This Easter, the big sellers are the same as years past.

“It's predominantly food, candy and clothing that seem to be the top drivers for this year's Easter sales,” said Regine. “Most likely, the food is attributed to the majority of people actually cooking a dinner at home.”

If you need to stock up on candy for your own personal stash, wait until Monday when stores start clearing out their inventory. Shoppers will also probably find some pretty good deals on gardening tools and outdoor décor.

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