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Americans expected to spend more on back-to-school shopping: surveys

Updated: July 17, 2012 7:29PM

Back-to-school shoppers are expected to fill their carts with more pencils, supplies and clothes than last year — boosting retail foot traffic for the first time in five years, Chicago-based ShopperTrak reports.

Falling gasoline prices are expected to encourage shoppers to boost back-to-school sales 4 percent in August, with foot traffic increasing 1.5 percent from the previous year, according to the company whose technology tracks shopper store visits.

The International Council of Shopping Centers predicts shoppers will spend about $300 this year on back-to-school items. Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they plan to spend the same as last year, while 14 percent said they will spend less this year.

Of the 42 percent who said they will boost their spending, about half said they need clothes and school supplies, the survey showed. No comparable data was available from a year ago, but the council forecast total back-to-school spending at $40.4 billion this year, up 2.5 percent from last year’s $39.4 billion.

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