July 17, 2014 at 2:58 PM ET
Longer school supply lists and larger demand for electronics are expected to drive back-to-school spending higher during the second-biggest selling season of the year. The National Retail Federation's annual survey says total spending on back-to-school items is expected to reach $74.9 billion — up about 3 percent from $72.5 billion in 2013. The average family with kids in grades kindergarten through high school will spend $669.28, up 5 percent from last year. The average back-to-school spending for a college student is expected to rise 10 percent to $916.48. According to the National School Supply Lists Directory, required school supply lists for the upcoming year contain on average 18 items. That's a 29 percent increase from 2013, as items such as tissues and hand wipes are being added into the equation more often. Electronics are also driving budgets higher, with shoppers expected to spend $212.35 on these items — up 7 percent from 2013. College students, who account for nearly one-third of back-to-school spending, are expected to spend an average of $243.79 on laptops, tablets and the like.
-Krystina Gustafson, CNBC.com