People are opening their wallets to cash in on Easter sales more than they did at this time last year, analysts say, as shoppers are setting out to cash in on sales of candy, groceries and other holiday wares.
Despite high prices at the pump and other rising costs, consumers are expected to spend about $145 per person on Easter goods this year, according to the National Retail Federation. That's an 11 percent jump from 2011, a rebound that experts and shoppers believe is an indication of a rebounding economy.
"I think people are generally feeling better," shopper Colleen Byrne said. "(It) just seems that people are not feeling quite as tight in the wallet as last year."
One positive factor that many are pointing to is the early onset of spring, which may be motivating shoppers.
"People are feeling fairly good right now," National Retail Federation Senior Vice President Ellen Davis said. "They're saying it's OK for me to spend $10 to $15 more than I did last year."
Shoppers from around the region tend to believe that a positive bump in the economy is leading people to be a little more free with their income.
"They must feel more comfortable about their own situation to be able to go out and buy more each holiday," shopper Suzanne Norwind said.