Back-to-school spending expected to drop this year

By Perry Rossom

July 31, 2013 Updated Jul 31, 2013 at 10:55 PM EDT

Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The start of the school year is only a few weeks away, but back-to-school supplies are already hitting area shelves.

"It's decorations for your classroom to make it more welcoming for your students and just things you're going to use everyday," said Nicole Russell, a teacher in the Montrose Area School District. "Right now, I focus on the beginning of the year and then think about the rest of the year after Christmas."

The National Retail Federation's (NRF) Back-to-School Survey reports families are spending less this year in comparison to last year.

The NRF says families with school-aged children spend on average $634.78, including clothes, shoes, supplies and electronics.

This is down from last year's average of $688.62.

Back-to-school supplies are a major industry this time of the year.

The NRF says the country will spend a total of 26.7 billion on back-to-school items this year.