Back-to-School Spending to Reach $18.4B

Washington D.C., Total back-to-school spending this year is expected to reach $18.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2007 Consumer Intentions and Actions Back-to-School survey, conducted by BIGresearch. The study found that families with school-age children are expected to spend $563.49 on back-to-school merchandise, up 6.9% from last year’s $527.08 average.

According to the survey, the electronics category will see the biggest increase in sales this year, with families spending 13% more on electronics than last year ($129.24 vs. $114.38). Footwear will also see a higher-than-average sales increase, with sales expected to rise 10.3% over last year ($108.42 vs. $98.34). Families are also expected to spend $94.02 on school supplies, up from $86.22 a year ago.

Though the majority of shoppers will be purchasing clothing and accessories this year (95.4%), spending in that category is expected to be flat, with consumers spending an average of $231.80 on those purchases. Last year’s spending average topped out at $228.14. Clothing and accessories remains the largest spending category at $7.6 billion.

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