Monday, August 18, 2008

College kids spending less for back-to-college

Welcome once again to another edition of "Signs that the economy is bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. Continuing with college student woes, it seems that we have a new report that spending may be tight for those going to (or back to) college this year. According to USA Today, "College Kids Scrimp This Year." Jayne O'Donnell's article draws on the ever popular, and Itinerant Librarian somewhat regular source by now, National Retail Federation, who has put out yet another survey on how bad retail might or not do on a particular season. Some of the highlights from the article:

  • "Consumers polled say they plan to spend 7% less this year on back-to-college, or an average of $599 per family. That comes even as spending for grade-school students is expected to rise from about $563 in 2007 to $594." This is drawing from the NRF survey. It cannot be that bad if there is a little rise in the back-to-school spending. I know we just did most of our shopping for the little one, and we did spend a few bucks. But I think we did buy less this year. The better half does recall we bought less last year too. Coincidence? Who knows?
  • Who will do well? Wal-Mart: "Still, retail consultant Craig Johnson predicts Wal-Mart will continue to outperform competitors for back to school and college because of low prices and improved apparel and electronics options." I hate to admit this, but guess where we did most of the back-to-school shopping. And we did go shop during the tax holiday for clothes. Hey, every little penny counts.
And what are we blaming it on? That's right, those darn rebate checks just did not go too far. In what can only be described as a blinding statement on the obvious: "'The tax-rebate checks weren't as effective as they could have been,' says Davis of the NRF. "Nobody expected gas prices would go up so much.'" Really? Nobody could have seen this coming? Are you sure? I am thinking it may be more of nobody wanted to see the gas prices going up so much. But that would be another post.

As if things already were not bad enough that college students have to furnish dorms on the cheap, now this.

Update note (8/19/2008): Here is the NRF press release to the survey that USA Today draws from. The press release includes links to the school and college expenses surveys. A hat tip to Docuticker.

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