Back-to-School and College Spending Forecasts Rise

Back to School Kids getting on BusAccording to the National Retail Federation’s back-to-school and college surveys by Bigresearch, most families plan to replenish outgrown backpacks and clothes this back-to-school season. Families also intend to shop for store or generic brands to save money. Electronics, MP3 players, phones, and computers remain 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 $553.87 on back-to-school purchases this year. The average back-to-college Midwest family plans to spend $555.03 on its college bound students.

Nationally, the combined average forecasted for back-to-school spending was $606.40 per family, higher than the 2009 average of $548.72 for 12th grade and lower.

Nationwide, total back-to-school spending for Kindergarten through 12th grade is estimated to reach $21.35 billion and back-to-college spending is expected to reach $33.77 billion dollars, totalling $55.12 billion for both. This makes back-to-school the second highest spending event behind the winter holidays.

The Midwest total combined spending forecast for 2010 back-to-school purchases was lower this year at $554.45 per family than the national combined average at $606.40. The types of back-to-school items Midwest parents expect to spend the most on are clothing and accessories (37%), followed by electronics (29%), shoes (19%), and school supplies (15%).

Back to School Spending Pie Chart
According to the survey, most MidwesBack to College Studentst parents are likely to start back-to-school and college shopping early to spread out spending across a greater time period. Many Missouri parents may start shopping the weekend of August 6 through August 8, 2010 to take advantage of the state’s annual sales tax holiday on many types of back-to-school clothing, computers and supplies.

Average college spending nationwide is forecasted to decrease to $616.13 per family. College students plan to save by sharing textbooks or purchasing used ones instead of new.

Midwest families expect to spend $555.03 on college back-to-school items, outlaying the most money on electronics and computers (38%), followed by clothing (21%), apartment furnishings (14%), school supplies (11%), shoes (10%), and collegiate branded gear or supplies (6%). Back to School College Spending Plans 2010

Sources: National Retail Federation, BIGresearch

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