New survey shows coronavirus impact on Easter spending


( -- A new survey says this year's Easter will be like no other, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey, released Monday morning by personal finance site WalletHub, says nearly 70 percent of those who observe Easter say the pandemic will affect their spending and activities.

The traditional Easter church service is another struggle as Americans are urged to stay home and avoid public gatherings. 56% of those who went to church on Easter Sunday last year say they will go this year, if their church is open. Others are adhering to social distancing guidelines, according to WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. "For example, around 66 percent of people plan to have phone calls or video conferencing, 24 percent will watch church on TV, and 19.5 percent will have indoor Easter egg hunts. Some people may do all of the above," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez also touched on some of the Easter-related economic impacts the pandemic is causing. "The Easter candy industry will take a big hit, as over 42 percent of Easter celebrants who normally purchase candy say they will not do so this year," Gonzalez said. "Americans will also forego buying new outfits and Easter food at nearly the same percentages."

How long should non-essential businesses stay closed? The survey shows different opinions. "Only around 14 percent of Americans want non-essential businesses to reopen by April 12," Gonzalez said. "In fact, the largest percentage of people, around 50 percent, think these non-essential merchants should stay closed for three months. Very few people think an immediate reopening is a good idea, at just 5 percent of the population."

The complete survey results are available on WalletHub's website.