The “Back-to-School” shopping season has begun! The season accounts for a significant portion of sales for retailers in the US, as households buy school supplies, clothes, and student decor. As of June 2021, it looked as though the pandemic was possibly coming to a close, or at least manageable, in the United States. However, the rise of the Delta variant has changed that outlook with mask mandates going into effect to protect the vulnerable and slow the infection rates. Regardless of these ongoing developments, everyone needs to purchase new items and supplies. As such, back-to-school numbers will be a true barometer for the economy as many people return to pre-pandemic routines, including full days in school and returns to the office.
According to U.S. News & World Reports, consumer confidence stayed unchanged from June to July 2021, surprising many economists who were expecting a decline. CNBC notes that this steadiness and consumer conference may have been spurred by the continued monthly payments for the child tax credits which will continue for about 39 million households (nearly 90% of children in the U.S.) through December 2021. Bloomberg cites a Deloitte LLP forecast that spending reach $32.5 billion, up 16% from 2020 and 17% from 2019.