School Shopping Expenses To Reach Record High

As U.S. households grapple with rising inflation and looming recession concerns, they might face steeper expenses for their children’s back-to-school needs, recent reports suggest.

The National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey estimates that back-to-school expenditures will surge to an unprecedented $41.5 billion. This increase is a noticeable jump from $36.9 billion in 2022 to the peak of $37.1 billion in 2021.

On average, families with elementary to high school students predict they will shell out approximately $890.07 for school supplies this year, marking the highest average yet, as per NRF.

The intensified demand for electronic items is a significant contributor to expected costs. The survey forecasts a whopping $15.2 billion in spending on electronics alone.

Remarkably, a significant 69 percent of consumers disclosed their intent to allocate funds for electronics or computer-related gear, setting a new high for the survey.

Here’s a rundown of the most sought-after electronic items for back-to-school shoppers:

Laptops (51 percent)
Tablets (36 percent)
Calculators (29 percent)

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay emphasized, “The back-to-school shopping season is a pivotal time for consumers. Our 2023 insights indicate that U.S. shoppers are keen on getting a head start with their back-to-school and college shopping.

Retailers have geared up before the shopping frenzy begins to ensure they’re equipped with the necessities families and students seek for the upcoming academic year.”

Deloitte’s 2023 back-to-school survey indicates that following a year and a half of inflation, parents with K-12 students are opting for more conservative spending on school supplies than the previous year.
This decreased spending is attributed mainly to the impacts of inflation and the necessity to rebuild savings after the pandemic’s financial challenges. Additionally, a study by World Remit highlights a substantial 25 percent increase in the cost of school supplies in the U.S. compared to 2022.

While inflation rates are at their lowest since March 2021, elevated prices continue to pressure consumers, pushing many to seek assistance from local and national back-to-school initiatives.