Economic Reality: Back-to-School Shoppers Plan to Cut Back
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2013 Jul 18
Despite an improving economy, students and parents will spend nearly 8 percent less this back-to-school season than in 2012, according to an annual survey from the National Retail Federation.
Prices for back-to-school needs are up this year and parents will save by shopping earlier for sales, shopping online and by having children re-use items bought in last year's booming back-to-school season, the NRF says.
Average back-to-school spending will be $635, down from last year's average of $689, the NRF says. Back-to-college spending also will shrink this year, the NRF says, to an average of $837 for supplies — including apparel, electronics and dorm furnishings — down from $907 last year. It estimates total U.S. spending will be $26.7 billion.
The back-to-school drop comes despite a 7.3 percent increase in the cost of school supplies, fees and activities estimated by Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington Bank's annual "Backpack Index."