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 17,416.85 225.48 1.31%
Nasdaq 4,683.41 45.41 0.98%
S&P 500 2,021.25 19.09 0.95%
Treasuries 1.75 0.03 1.57%
Data as of 7:27am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Pfizer Inc 31.83 -0.12 -0.38%
Yahoo! Inc 43.73 -3.06 -6.59%
Altria Group Inc 54.39 0.38 0.70%
Baxter International... 71.38 1.22 1.74%
International Paper ... 53.51 0.35 0.66%
Data as of Jan 29

Sections

Shake Shack is a huge success in New York. But will the 'fine casual' burger and fries joint be a big hit with investors too? It looks like Wall Street has worked up its appetite for the Shake Shack IPO. More

The Wednesday announcement that Don Thompson will retire as CEO of McDonald's leaves just two black CEOs in the elite Dow 30. More

Google reported a quarterly profit on Thursday that rose from a year ago, but the company fell short of Wall Street's expectations. More

On demand delivery startup WunWun is expecting its order volume to double by the time they close up shop on Monday. All thanks to a blizzard. More

The IRS said it has carried out thousands of audits of offshore schemes and pursued criminal charges that have resulted in "billions of dollars in criminal fines and restitutions." And it won't stop there. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2015 and/or its affiliates.