SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 1, 2013

Our view: The prom effect


The Salem News

---- — While it didn’t show up in any state or national economic report, there’s one economic indicator that most parents of teenage children are already familiar with: Prom spending is on the rise again.

According to a survey of 1,025 parents of prom-aged teens by Visa and the research company Gfk, prom spending is expected to rise this spring to an average of $1,139. That’s up roughly 40 percent from 2011 and a slight increase from last year. (Of course, the average is highest in the Northeast, at $1,528.)

“Dresses are more elaborate,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the market research firm NPD Group, told The Associated Press. “They are now buying two pairs of shoes, one to go to prom and one to dance in.

“This crop of kids cares about prom,’’ Cohen said.

And at about $1,500 a child, there’s no doubt their parents do, too, although maybe for different reasons.