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Retailers Predict Decline in Back-to-School Spending

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Cautious consumers plan to spend nearly 8 percent less this year on back-to-school supplies, according to a new survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The retail trade association says families will spend an average of $634.78 on clothing, supplies and electronics for kids this year, compared to $688.62 last year.

The survey, which is conducted using what pollsters consider an unreliable opt-in methodology, points out that the economy seems to be the main reason consumers will be spending less.  Eight in ten shoppers say economic conditions will change their spending in some way.

“The good news is that consumers are still spending, but they are doing so with cost and practicality in mind,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.  “As they continue to grapple with the impact of increased payroll taxes, Americans will look to cut corners where they can, but will still buy what their kids need.”

To better help them save on back-to-school supplies, consumers will do comparative shopping online and in stores, and look for markdowns early in the shopping season, the survey suggests.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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