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Halloween anything but scary for retailers now

In a country haunted by a bad economy, Halloween will actually come as a relief this year. As Rebecca Jarvis reports, the National Retail Federation predicts more than two-thirds of Americans will celebrate Halloween in some way, spending close to $7 billion while they're at it.

That's not bad for a holiday that's supposed to scare us.

Protests, unemployment, terrorism -- any one of those alone are frightening, let alone all together.

So, how scary can a zombie, witch or vampire be at the end of the day? Maybe not so much, especially if you're in the business of buying -- and selling Halloween.

From pop-up stores to more permanent establishments dedicated to Halloween, when it comes to celebrating the holiday known for goblins and ghouls, customers are not running scared this season.

"This year, Halloween spending is expected to be the highest it's ever been," the National Retail Federation's Ellen Davis explained.

In fact, individual spending is projected to be $72 per person. And about 68 percent of consumers have said the economy this year will not impact their plans.

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"People like the idea of going out the celebrate a no-strings-attached holiday in an economy like this one. Where we've all seen low confidence and uncertainty, the idea that you can just let loose for a week or a weekend is really appealing to a lot of people," Davis said.

And costumes account for just a portion of the spending: Consumers are expected to fork over $2.5 billion on costumes and close to $4 billion on candy and decorations, which is good news for retailers, even temporary ones.

"You don't necessarily need a costume shop to be open 365 days a year, so we see many retailers, both small businesses and large chains, opening pop-up stores in September and October," Davis said.

In San Francisco, the pop-up "Spirit" Halloween stores hosted a hiring frenzy when nearly 2,000 applicants showed up seeking jobs.

But year-round store owners like Bob Pinzon are planning on doing big business as the 31st creeps closer. "It's not packed yet, later it's going to get packed, Friday and Saturday it'll be busy," he said.

And here's one extra source of revenue: Lots of pet owners say they'll deck out their dogs and cats for Halloween.