Back to school shopping season in full swing

It's back to school shopping season, and this year looks to be a good one. Photo: Zereshk/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Every year, parents all over the nation part with a lot of cash in order to supply their children with back to school supplies. The back to school shopping season this year is off to a good start.

Retail sales spike as parents grab school goodies

The first day of school is not far off for the nation’s students. As a result of parents getting out and buying their little ones’ requisite supplies, according to Daily Finance, retail sales surged upward despite dismal signs from other economic indicators. The Thompson-Reuters Same Store Sales Index, which tracks sales in stores that have been open at least a year, noted a 4.4 percent increase in July sales from a year ago. Discount retailers like Costco led the charge. Costco posted a 10 percent gain from July last year. A high number of shoppers used their credit cards. According to Reuters, consumer credit use increased by $15.53 billion in June. Revolving credit, such as credit cards, accounted for $5.21 billion of that figure.

Tax holiday in the sun

There are 17 different states offering a tax holiday for shoppers this summer shopping season, according to USA Today, in an effort to get people to splurge. Potential shoppers should check in their local area to see if they reside in a state offering a tax holiday for shoppers, but the idea has some critics. The Tax Foundation, a D.C. based think-tank, asserts that the tax holidays only benefit wealthier families as middle and lower class families can’t afford to do all their shopping at once, in one weekend. New York had the first tax holiday in 1997, and various retailers report higher sales on tax holiday weekends. Some states, such as in Illinois, are canceling tax holidays because the state loses out on too much potential tax revenue during lean budget years.

College students paring down

The back to school spree for the typical college student, according to USA Today, has shrunk a little. The National Retail Foundation estimates that the average parent or student will spend $808.71 on supplies like clothing and furniture before reporting to dormitories this fall, a decline from $835.73 last year.

Sources

Daily Finance

Reuters 

USA Today 

USA Today 

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