Valentine's Day spending up for 2019, but number of Americans participating down

(NBC News Channel) -- Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and while consumer spending is up, fewer Americans are actually planning to celebrate this year.

(Image Source: MGN)

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans plan to spend an average of $161.96 on their loved ones.

That's up 13% from last year and easily tops the previous record set in 2016.

Total spending is predicted to exceed $20 billion, an increase of 6% compared to last year, which also breaks the previous record.

However, only 51% of Americans say they will celebrate Valentine's Day this year, that's down from 55% last year.

In fact, the number of consumers that celebrate Valentine's Day has trended downward over the past 12 years, while spending has generally been on the increase.

Experts say the strong economy could be the result of record spending this year.