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

Just the hot list include
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 24,461.70 -196.10 -0.80%
Nasdaq 7,712.95 -68.56 -0.88%
S&P 500 2,749.76 -17.56 -0.63%
Treasuries 2.90 0.00 0.00%
Data as of 12:21am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Advanced Micro Devic... 15.65 -0.87 -5.27%
General Electric Co 12.76 -0.12 -0.93%
Micron Technology In... 59.44 0.49 0.83%
Bank of America Corp... 29.29 0.05 0.17%
AT&T Inc 31.60 -0.40 -1.25%
Data as of Jun 21
Sponsors

Sections

US Starbucks stores are bugged by drinks no one wants, too many stores and not enough innovation. More

Russian trolls posing as an American college student tweeted about divisive social, political and cultural issues using an account that amassed thousands of followers -- and appeared in dozens of news stories published by major media outlets -- as recently as March. More

Thinking of splashing out a lot of money on fancy new car or dream vacation? Ask yourself these six questions to avoid financial chaos. More