It's becoming increasingly expensive for families to fill up student backpacks and send them back to school each fall. This coming school year will be one of the most expensive on record, according to two new reports.
The cost of school-related spending – including pen-and-paper supplies, electronics and other school fees – has increased by 20 percent in just one year, far outpacing wage increases and the rate of inflation, according to Huntington Bank's annual Backpack Index. Average hourly earnings increased by 2.05 percent during the last year, and the Consumer Price Index rose 2.1 percent during the same time.
"With the slow growth in wages, it is difficult for many families to meet the rising costs of sending children to school," said George Mokrzan, director of economics for Huntington Bank, in a statement.