Back-to-School and College Spending Forecasts

According to the National Retail Federation’s back-to-school and college surveys by Bigresearch, most Back to school Kids with Backpackfamilies are planning to purchase only what is necessary for back-to-school this year. Families are planning to look for sales before hitting the stores and electronics and computers are high on families' supply lists, especially for the college bound.

The Intentions and Actions Survey forecasts, the average Midwest family with school-aged children will spend $601.64 on back-to-school purchases this year. The average back-to-college Midwest family plans to spend $681.84 on its college bound students.

Nationally, the combined average forecasted for back-to-school spending was $548.72, lower than the 2008 average of $594.24 for 12th grade and lower.

Nationwide, total back-to-school spending for Kindergarten through 12th grade is estimated to reach $17.42 billion and back-to-college spending is expected to reach $20.08 billion dollars totalling $47.5 billion for both.

The Midwest total combined spending forecast for 2009 back-to-school purchases was significantly higher at $681.84 than the national combined average at $548.72. By types of back-to-school items, Midwest parents expect to spend the most on clothing and accessories (35%), followed by electronics (33%), shoes (17%), and school supplies (15%).

Back to school chart

According to the survey, most Midwest parents are likely to start back-to-school and college shopping early to spread out spending across a greater time College studentsperiod. Many Missouri parents may start shopping the weekend of August 7 through August 10, 2009 to take advantage of the state’s annual sales tax holiday on many types of back-to-school clothing, computers and supplies.

Personal computers sales are forecasted to increase by 11 percent. With the cost of personal computers declining many famies are planning to add a laptop or personal computers to their back-to-college purchases.

Average college spending nationwide is forecasted to increase slightly per family to $618.12. This increase is attributed to the forecast that more students are planning to live at home while going to college, allowing more money for college supplies.

Midwest families expect to spend $681.84, outlaying the most money on electronics and computers (51%), followed by clothing (22%), school supplies (11%), shoes (10%), and collegiate branded gear or supplies (6%).

Back to College 2009 Chart

Sources: National Retail Federation, BIGresearch

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