Cash reigns supreme for graduation

graduation
A growing trend for graduation is for graduates to give gifts to their peers. (Pixabay)

Cash, followed by gift cards, will be consumers' top gift choice for high school and college graduates this year. According to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, as many as 55% of consumers will give cash. 

The next popular gift, greeting cards (with cash or a gift card), will be given by 43% of those surveyed, followed by just gift cards, 32%, and 14% will give apparel. Electronics will only make up 10% of all gifts. 

RELATED: 36% buying graduation gifts this year

The average consumer will spend $102.51 on graduation gifts, almost the same as last year's spend. In total, U.S. consumers will spend about $5.2 billion on graduation, the third-highest spend in 12 years. The record was set in 2017 with $5.6 billion. 

According to Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist, a growing trend for graduation is for graduates to give gifts to their peers. For example, 45% of those ages 18 to 24 plan to give a graduation gift, spending an average of $73.87 per consumer. Consumer ages 45 to 54 will spend the most money, on average about $119.86 per gift. The second-highest spend will come from consumers over the age of 65, spending an average of $107.13. 

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