Back-to-school spending to jump nearly 11% - study

By Julianne Pepitone, CNNMoney.com contributing writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Back-to-school spending is set to jump by 10.5% this year, according to a new study, as Americans loosen their purse strings following a cash-strapped 2009.

The average family with students in grades kindergarten through high school is expected to spend $606.40 on school supplies, up from $548.72 in 2009, trade group the National Retail Federation said Thursday.

Combined K-12 spending will be $55.12 billion, second only to holiday shopping, according to the NRF. Overall, the report boded well for the retail sector, which has been hit hard since the beginning of the recession.

"The industry still remains cautiously optimistic about recovery," NRF president Matt Shay said in a statement.

Retailers will be looking at customers' "spending appetites" in the second half of the year, "which often serve as a bellwether for the all-important holiday season," Shay said.

This year's report was an improvement over last year's, which showed consumers were cutting back on everything from pens and pencils to apparel.

Though families will be spending more than they did in 2009, 30.3% said they would comparative shop this year versus 26.4% last year.

More than 7 in 10 respondents said they would shop at a discount store for school supplies this year, while about half will head to a department store. And more people will shop online: 30.8% this year vs. 22.2% last year.

The NRF study follows a Commerce Department report released Wednesday that showed retail sales fell for their second straight month in June. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,399.67 19.26 0.12%
Nasdaq 4,316.07 57.64 1.35%
S&P 500 1,904.01 17.25 0.91%
Treasuries 2.22 0.03 1.56%
Data as of 9:12am ET
Company Price Change % Change
CSX Corp 33.51 -0.48 -1.42%
Wells Fargo & Co 49.18 0.00 0.00%
EMC Corp 26.95 -0.16 -0.59%
Twenty-First Century... 33.04 0.43 1.31%
Comcast Corp 51.30 0.56 1.10%
Data as of Oct 20

Sections

Better-than-expected iPhone sales and record Mac sales lifted Apple in its fiscal fourth quarter. More

In three years, all Chicago high school students will have to take a coding course in order to graduate. More

Host a furniture market. Here's how small town High Point, N.C. rakes in this much money -- twice a year. More

Foreign workers, lured by false promises of good jobs and benefits in America, soon find themselves enslaved in plain sight as victims of labor trafficking, a report from the Urban Institute finds. Here's how it can happen. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.