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More money to be spent on Halloween this year, despite frightful economy

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images file

A white beard, a bald pate and a dark suit could turn you into Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke this Halloween.

The economy is still frightful, yet more Americans than ever are planning to take part in traditional Halloween festivities this year, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch.

The NRF’s 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey finds that seven in 10 Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, up slightly from last year and the most in NRF’s nine-year survey history. Those celebrating are expected to spend slightly more too, with the average American shelling out $72.31 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $66.28 last year, the NRF said. Total Halloween spending is expected to reach $6.86 billion.

Much of that money is likely to be spent on Halloween costumes, and with the economy doing its impression of the walking dead, more of this year’s outfits could be business or economy-themed.

A strong demand for dark mock turtleneck sweaters might suggest that the late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs could be a favorite costume this year, while some may opt to don a white beard, a bald pate and a dark suit to dress up as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

With the unemployment rate stuck above 9 percent more than two years since the credit crisis struck, it could be the most frightening costume of them all.