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Report: Electronics, apparel back-to-school spending expected to rise

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Los Angeles A new report from PriceGrabber found that, this year, 15% of elementary school students will start school with a new laptop, 13% will have computer accessories, and 10% will receive a new cell phone or smartphone.

Last year, 7% received computer accessories and 6% had a new cell phone or smartphone.

PriceGrabber said it expects clothing purchases to increase across all age groups. Eighty-five percent of back-to-school shoppers plan to purchase clothing for elementary school students this year, compared with 78% last year, according to the report. In 2010, 82% plan to purchase clothing for middle school students, compared with 77% in 2009. Eighty-four percent plan to purchase clothing for high school students, up from 74% in 2009. This year, 60% of shoppers are buying clothing for college students, compared with 47% last year.

“The trends we are seeing in shoppers’ back-to-school clothing purchases this year indicate that although they continue to be focused on budget-minded spending, older students in particular are expanding their wardrobes which would indicate a shift towards discretionary clothing purchases. This demonstrates consumers are feeling more confident about the economy this year than last,” said Laura Conrad, president of PriceGrabber.

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