The $75 Billion Back-to-School Spending Spree
Money + Markets

The $75 Billion Back-to-School Spending Spree

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Americans are going to increase their budget for school supplies by more than 10 percent this year, according to the National Retail Federation, pushing total spending to more than $75 billion.

Families with children in grades K-12 said that they’d spend an average of $674. Among those surveyed, 95 percent said they’d buy new clothes for their kids, spending an average of $235 on apparel. The average family expected to spend another $204 on electronics, $126 on shoes and $107 on school supplies.

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“Families are still looking for bargains, but there are signs that they are less worried about the economy than in the past,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “Heading into the second half of the year, we are optimistic that overall growth and consumer spending will continue to improve as they did in the first two quarters of the year.”

Many families have already begun back-to school shopping. Nearly three-quarters start shopping one to two months before school starts, and just one in five families are waiting until the last week to begin stocking up.


While fewer families are shopping at discount stores, they still represent the number one destination for school supplies, attracting more than 60 percent of families.

Families with college students planned to spend an average of $889 this year, down slightly from last year. But a greater number of families shopping will push overall college back-to-school sales up.