Graduation Spending to Reach Record High $5.6 Billion in 2017
As students prep for their big move to a college campus or into the real world, the National Retail Federation expects that high school and college grads—and those celebrating them—will spend more money than ever before. According to the annual survey released by NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics, 36 percent of consumers said they plan to buy gifts for graduates this year, up from 34 percent a year ago, and total spending is expected to reach $5.6 billion, the highest number in the survey’s 11-year history. The previous record of $5.4 billion was set last year.
“As students mark the end of one chapter in their lives and start the next, friends and family will help prepare them for this new journey,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “From gift cards to clothing and electronics, retailers will have their shelves stocked with a variety of options.”
The survey found that, like usual, cash will remain the most popular gift with 53 percent of consumers saying they planned to give physical money to a graduate. That said, NRF reported that cash giving is at a record low this year and has dropped about 10 percent since 2007.