2017 Back-to-School and College Spending Forecast

Back-to-SchoolBack-to-school shopping is the second highest spending event in the U.S. behind the winter holidays. The National Retail Federation's (NRF) back-to-school and college surveys by Prosper Insights and Analytics reveal that most families are feeling confident in the economy and retailers are planning to supply all of their school needs. Back-to-School and College spending is expected to reach $83.6 billion nationwide. Overall spending is projected to increase over 10% since last year.

Many Missouri parents may start shopping the weekend of August 4th through August 6th, 2016 to take advantage of the state’s annual sales tax holiday on many types of back-to-school clothing, computers and supplies.

The Midwest spending forecast for 2017 back-to-school purchases was slightly lower this year at $659.73 per family than the national projected average of $687.72. The types of back-to-school items Midwest parents expect to spend the most on are clothing and accessories ($236.63), electronics ($195.77), shoes ($120.94) and school supplies ($106.40).

Back to School Pie Chart 2011

Average college spending nationwide is forecasted to reach $969.88 in 2017 per family. Most of the growth in college spending is due in part to the growing college enrollment. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment in college has steadily increased over the last five years and is projected to reach nearly 21 million this fall.

Back to collegeSurvey resuls show that seven in ten Midwest parents plan to start back-to-school and college shopping at least three weeks early to spread out spending across a greater time period. Two in ten will leave school shopping to the week before school starts.

Midwest families expect to spend $857.25 on college back-to-school items, outlaying the most money on electronics and computers ($199.52), followed by clothing ($129.17), apartment furnishings ($111.22), food ($102.67), shoes ($70.76), personal care ($67.43), school supplies ($64.97), gift cards ($64.69) and collegiate branded gear or supplies ($49.23).

Back to College Midwest Spending Plans

Sources: National Retail Federation, Prosper Insights & Analytics Survey

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