Costs of school supplies and extracurricular activities are projected to outpace consumer price index inflation this year.
Costs of school supplies and extracurricular activities are projected to outpace consumer price index inflation this year, according to consumer spending trends forecast in Huntington Bank’s eighth annual Backpack Index.
Costs will grow an average of 7.3 percent for K-12 school supplies compared to 1.39 percent as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI during the same time period. For high school students who will add a mid-priced $300 tablet computer to their back to school shopping list, the Index increases 36 percent.
The Backpack Index also projects these consumer spending trends:
· $577 for elementary school students, a 5.3 percent increase over last year
· $783 for middle school students, also a 5.3 percent increase
· $1,223 for high school students, a 9.5 percent increase
No one particular item spiked in price this year. Small across the board increases account for the rising costs, Huntington Bank reported.
Back-to-school is the first major shopping event of the year and retail’s second biggest shopping season after the winter holidays, according to consumer spending trends tracked by the National Retail Federation. More than three-fourths of families with children in grades K-12 said that the economy is impacting their back-to-school spending plans, the NRF reports.
Since the Backpack Index was introduced, costs have increased 22 percent for elementary school students, 43 percent for middle school students and 23 percent for high school students.
The Index factors in prevalent new technology. According a a Pew Research Center report issued last March, 23 percent of teens have a computer tablet, while 78 percent of teens own a cell phone, while almost half (47 percent) have their own spartphones
Huntington Bank offers these back-to-school shopping tips:
· Take an inventory of supplies you already have
· Compare prices online to determine the best deals
· Use back-to-school shopping as a teachable moment- Involve children in budgeting
· Talk to neighbors, friends and other parents to see if they have equipment or technology their own children are no longer using
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.