Gift cards and cash most popular graduation gifts

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to gift giving, especially as graduation season approaches. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2008 Graduation Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGresearch, small-in-size items such as gift cards (35.6 percent) and cash (56.8 percent) will remain the most popular graduation gifts, while traditional favorites such as apparel (10.8 percent) and electronics (11.6 percent) will be given by fewer. In addition to gifts, many consumers also plan to give a greeting card (35.6 percent) to graduates.

According to the survey, Americans will spend $4.4 billion on graduation gifts this year, with nearly one-third (32.4 percent) of Americans purchasing at least one gift this year. The average consumer buying graduation gifts plans to give a gift to two graduates this year and will spend an average of $52 on each present.

“Graduation is a time for celebration, and there is no better way to wish a graduate luck in the next chapter of their life than by giving them a leg up financially,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “Cash or a gift card is the perfect gift for graduates who may be moving away from home, starting a new job or heading to college in a few months.”

Parents and other family members not only support their graduate through their education, but they will also spend the most on graduation gifts this year. Consumers between the ages of 35-44 plan on spending over $107 on gifts.

Information provided by the National Retail Federation.

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