NORTH CAROLINA -- This year, Valentine's Day spending is up to its highest dollar amount ever. But the number of people spending is down by 4 percent, compared to 55 percent last year.

The National Retail Federation reports the average person will spend about $162 on the holiday.

The NRF says men spend the most at $229.54, up 20 percent from last year. Women spend $97.77, down 1 percent from last year.

Even though a lot of people want experiences, some still want the traditional gifts like dinner, flowers, and candy. Roughly $3.5 billion is expected to be spent on an evening out, $1.9 billion on flowers, and $1.8 billion on candy.

These are the most popular gifts given by those planning to celebrate this year, according to the National Retail Federation:

  • Candy - 52 percent 
  • Greeting cards - 44 percent
  • Flowers - 35 percent
  • An evening out - 34 percent
  • Experience gifts (tickets, spa day) - 25 percent
  • Jewelry - 18 percent
  • Clothing - 18 percent
  • Gift cards - 15 percent
Credit: National Retail Federation
Credit: National Retail Federation