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Parents are Preparing to Pay More this Back-to-School Season as Inflation Hits Wallets

CNBC | June 30, 2021

This back-to-school season, the average parent’s spending per student is expected to be as much as $270, compared with roughly $250 in 2020, KPMG found in a new survey. A key reason for the heightened spending is the growing expectation that items will cost more in the coming months, with 39% believe sticker prices are going up.

Parents of children in preschool are planning to spend as much as 32% more money this year, the survey said, while parents of college-aged students will spend about 13% more. The sharp increases in these two groups are partially due to more people entering both preschool and college this fall, after putting those plans on hold a year ago.

As more students head back to classrooms, a greater proportion of spending this back-to-school season will be devoted to items necessary for in-person learning. Categories including shoes, clothing and core school supplies such as notebooks will see the largest increases in share of a parent’s budget compared with 2020, KPMG said. And with Covid-19 restrictions increasingly lifted, more people are expect to browse the aisles in person, compared with 44% planning to shop online.

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