Washington — The National Retail Federation (NRF) is anticipating back-to-school spending to reach $75.8 billion this year, up from $68 billion in 2015, according to the trade organization.
While consumers are still seeking bargains for back-to-school, they are less worried about the economy in the past, according to NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
“Heading into the second half of the year, we are optimistic that overall economic growth and consumer spending will continue to improve as they did in the first two quarters of the year,” Shay says. “We fully expect retailers to be aggressive with offering great deals both in store and online for back-to-school shoppers.”
The trade group reports sales results follow a pattern in which shoppers increasing spending one year as part of supplies stock up trips, with a drop in spending the following year as longer-lasting items such as backpacks and computers don’t need to be replaced. However, consumers increase purchases once again in year three, NRF reports.
More consumers are making back-to-school trips earlier this year with 73 percent beginning a month or two before the school year starts, up from 62 percent in 2015, according to the NRF. Further, 63 percent of early shoppers say they are doing so because they don’t want to miss sales, while another 51 percent report shopping early to avoid crowds.