It seems love may help conquer weak retail trends as IBISWorld expects consumers to splurge this Valentine’s Day.

IBISWorld has forecasted Australians will spend $908.7 million this year, up 4.8 per cent on 2011.

Paul McMilan, IBISWorld senior analyst, told RetailBiz, expects Australians to spend on higher-value sales, particularly in domestic travel, dining out and jewellery.

“Whilst it’s true that Christmas was disappointing for many retailers, we’ve seen some strength in higher-end retail. Consumers appear willing to spend a little more for occasional special items – in comparison to debt-fuelled spending which was less discerning and typified by higher volumes of small purchases. A boom in metals prices is also likely to flow through to higher sales revenue at jewellers’ tills,” he said.

IBISWorld has forecasted couples will spend $422.2 million on romantic mini-breaks – an increase of 5.9 per cent on last year. But the largest category growth will be in jewellery where the industry will see a 9 per cent jump from $33.4 million to $36.4 million.

Chocolates, fine dining, flowers and greeting cards also remain as top picks. But couples will move away from clothing and intimate apparel gifts, which are expected to decrease of 0.6 per cent from last year’s spend of $67 million.