Families plan to spend more than ever on back-to-school shopping this year, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics.

The survey found that while per-family spending is projected to increase in both K-12 and college categories, combined total spending on back-to-school shopping is expected to decrease from last year.

This is primarily due to the fewer number of households with children in elementary through high school.

Total spending for K-12 schools and college combined is projected to reach $80.7 billion this year, down from last year's $82.8 billion.

This year's survey of 7,660 consumers was conducted from July 1 to 8, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Families with children in elementary school through high school said they plan to spend an average of $696.70 this year, a rise from $684.79 last year. It also tops the previous record of $688.62 set in 2012.

Despite the increase in per-household spending, total spending is expected to decline to 26.2 billion USD from last year's 27.5 billion USD.

Meanwhile, families of college students are expected to spend an average of 976.78 USD, up from last year's 942.17 USD. This year's spending is projected to top the previous record of 969.88 USD set in 2017.

Total spending by college students too is expected to decline this year, to 54.5 billion from 55.3 billion USD last year.

K-12 families are estimated to spend the most on clothing and accessories at 239.82 USD on average; 203.44 USD on electronics; 135.96 USD on shoes; and 117.49 USD on supplies such as notebooks, pencils, backpacks and lunch boxes.

K-12 families said they plan to do most of their shopping at department stores, followed by discount stores, online, clothing stores and office supply stores, in that order.

College shoppers plan to spend the most on electronics, at an average of 234.69 USD, followed by average spending of 148.54 USD on clothing and accessories, 120.19 USD on dorm and apartment furnishings, and 98.72 USD on food items.

Most of their shopping is expected to be online, followed by department stores, discount stores, college bookstores and office supply stores.

The survey also found that 89 percent of both K-12 and college shoppers still had half or more of their purchases pending. Of those, 49 percent said they were waiting for the best deals for items on their lists.(DPA)





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