48°F
weather icon Clear

U.S. back-to-school spending in the tens of billions

Many parents and college students reported they were waiting for the best deals to complete their shopping lists, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics.

Total spending for K-12 schools and college combined was projected to reach $82.8 billion, nearly as high as last year’s $83.6 billion, the federation said in its news release.

“With the economy thriving thanks to tax reform and growing consumer confidence, we expect to see a very strong season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said when the survey was released last month.

“College spending is expected to be at its highest level ever, and back-to-school will be one of the three highest years on record,” Shay said. “Whether shoppers buy now or wait until the last minute, retailers are ready with everything they need for a successful start of the school year.”

Families with children in elementary through high school planned to spend an average $684.79 each, compared with last year’s $687.72 for a total of $27.5 billion. That’s the third-highest total in the history of the survey following a peak of $30.3 billion in 2012 and last year’s $29.5 billion.

Those with young people heading to college, as well as college and graduate students purchasing for themselves, planned to spend an average $942.17 each, down from last year’s $969.88 for a total of $55.3 billion. That’s an all-time high in the history of the survey, up from last year’s previous record of $54.1 billion. According to the survey, back-to-school shoppers plan to spend the most on clothing ($236.90). In addition to apparel, back-to-school shoppers also planned to spend:

■ $187.10 on electronics such as computers, calculators or phones

■ $138.66 on shoes

■ $122.13 on supplies such as notebooks, pencils, backpacks, and lunchboxes

“The biggest change we are seeing in back-to-school spending this year is coming from electronics,” NRF Vice President for Research Mark Mathews said. “Items like laptops, tablets and smartphones are now an everyday part of household life and aren’t necessarily a purchase parents save for the start of the school year, resulting in the slight decrease in spending for this category.”

Unlike back-to-schoolers, college shoppers will spend the most on electronics ($229.21).

Besides electronics, they also planned to spend:

■ $153.32 on clothing and accessories

■ $109.29 on dorm or apartment furnishings

■ $102.82 on food

■ $83.41 on shoes

■ $78.70 on personal care items such as skin and hair care

■ $69.46 on school supplies such as notebooks and backpacks

■ $62.61 on gift cards

■ $53.34 on collegiate branded gear

“College shoppers are prioritizing and increasing their spending budgets in essential categories including clothing, furnishings and shoes,” Mathews said. “However, categories such as personal care items, gift cards and food saw a dip this year. Although consumers will still spend on these categories, they may plan to make purchases as needed throughout the school year rather than stocking up for the entire semester.”

The survey also found that more consumers were starting early. Most back-to-school shoppers (77 percent) had planned to start at least three weeks before school begins, up from last year’s 74 percent.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Small Business Saturday returns in Nye

Nye County will celebrate another year of Small Business Saturday, with Nye County commissioners formally declaring the event in 2019.

 
Nye County commissioner faces charges related to CARES Act

Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo turned himself in to authorities on charges he voted on CARES Act programs while he was benefiting from them.

Angel Trees out in Pahrump community

Thanksgiving has come and gone and the Christmas season is officially upon the community, bringing with it the opportunity for residents to help spread a little holiday cheer by participating in the Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree program.

California Lottery

Because of early holiday deadlines at the Pahrump Valley Times, winning lottery numbers for the Wednesday night drawing of the California Super Lotto were not available but will be published in the Wednesday Dec. 2 issue with the results of Saturday night’s Super Lotto.

Turkey divan makes Thanksgiving leftovers divine

One of the best things about the Thanksgiving holiday is enjoying the wonderful leftovers. Now, I don’t know about your post-turkey-day turkey, but mine usually has no legs, or thighs but lots of leftover breast. If that happens to your turkey too, then you’re going to love this week’s recipe, Turkey Divan. We’ve got turkey, broccoli and mushrooms smothered in a cheesy creamy sauce, topped with crunchy, buttery breadcrumbs to make a classic casserole.

Pahrump’s Community Christmas Tree Lighting to be held virtually

The Thanksgiving festivities are at an end and the community is now turning its attention to the Christmas season, which for the town of Pahrump always includes the placement and lighting of the enormous Community Christmas Tree.

COVID surge leads to adjustments in Pahrump Justice Court operations

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to swell in the Silver State, Pahrump Justice Court is taking action now to curb any potential spread of the disease in its courts, which were shut down for two weeks earlier this year after an employee tested positive for the virus.

Murder suspect convicted in jury trial

The man arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of a child more than three years ago, was found guilty following a jury trial this week.