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Tech Is Top-Five Grad Gift This Season: NRF

But total expenditures will fall 7 percent.

What better way to congratulate a new graduate this season than with a shiny, new tech device?

Well, there’s actually four better ways, according to a graduation spending survey conducted annually for the National Retail Federation (NRF), but CE still ranks right up there.

The poll, which queried 7,681 consumers about their graduation gift-giving plans, showed that 10 percent were leaning toward tech, putting the category in fifth place behind apparel (14 percent).

See: Pomp And Circumspection

Gift cards came in third at 32 percent, and 43 percent were planning to purchase a greeting card, hopefully in which to package it.

The top graduation gift? Money, proving that cash is still king.

And speaking of moola, the NRF projects that $5.2 billion of it will be spent this season, representing the third-highest outlay in the survey’s 12-year history, following last year’s record $5.6 billion spend, but a 7 percent decline nonetheless.

That works out to an average of $102.51 per person, compared with last year’s $104.92 investment. But who are these people?

The survey found that 45 percent of gift givers are fellow graduates, and plan to spend an average of $73.87 on their friends.

“One growing trend we have noticed year over year is the fact that peers continue to give gifts to each other,” confirmed Phil Rist, strategy executive VP for Prosper Insights, which conducted the survey for NRF.

The biggest spending however, at $119.86, comes from those ages 45-54, including, presumably, parents. Respondents 65 and older, perhaps with graduating grandchildren, plan to give an average of $107.15.

The survey was conducted by Prosper Insights May 3-10.

Video: LG’s John Taylor Sees ‘Amazing Opportunities’ For College Grads In Tech