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As Children Return To Classrooms, Stores Expect Strong Sales

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FILE - In this May 18, 2021 file photo, fifth graders wear face masks are seated at proper social distancing spacing during a music class at the Milton Elementary School in Rye, N.Y. As more children go back to the physical classroom, families are expected to spend robustly on a wide range of items, particularly trendy clothing for the critical back-to-school season, according to one key spending measure. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

(AP) — As more children go back to the physical classroom and families look to restart their lives, back-to-school spending this year is expected to top pre-pandemic levels, according to one key spending measure.

Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending across all payment forms including cash, forecasts that spending will be up 5.5% between July 15 and Sept. 6. That’s compared with the year-ago period when sales rose only 1.2% as the pandemic wreaked havoc on schools’ reopening plans and back-to-school shopping.

In a more telling sign of a rebound, back-to-school sales should increase 6.7% on a two-year basis, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. The figures exclude sales from autos and gas.

 

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