Who says romance is dead? It’s clearly alive and well — and has a price tag attached.

If you’ve ever wondered just how much of a boon Valentine’s Day actually is to the economy, wonder no more. According to the National Retail Federation (sounds like a fun bunch), Americans will spend $17.6 billion total on Cupid’s holiday, with the average person shelling out more than $126. That’s a lot of hooch!

And since that number is up nearly 10% from last year — in fact, it’s the highest figure ever in the survey’s decade-long history — it doesn’t look like the recession has put much of a dent in people trying to get laid or making up for a year of being a crappy partner.

So how much will each of us spend?

The average guy is expected to drop almost $170 – nearly twice as much as women. And it’s no surprise that jewelers will see a lot of that cash. Total spending on rings, necklaces and other shiny baubles could reach $4.1 billion. Consumers are also expected to spend $3.5 billion for evenings out, and another $1 billion per category on flowers, candy, clothing, gift cards and motel rooms for just one hour.

[Via LiveScience]