Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

A look at consumer prices in back-to-school season

September 21, 2023

Many families may have recently purchased new books, laptops, shoes, sports goods, and musical instruments for their kids in preparation for the new school year. While these goods all contribute to a successful and fun school year, their cost can impact a family’s budget. Prices for educational books and supplies (which consist of elementary, high school, and college textbooks and reference books) decreased 3.4 percent from August 2022 to August 2023 and were 1.4 percent higher in August 2023 than they were in August 2020. In contrast, prices for all items increased 3.7 percent from August 2022 to August 2023 and were 18.1 percent higher in August 2023 than they were in August 2020.

1-, 2-, and 3-year percent changes, Consumer Price Index, selected categories, August 2023
Category 1-year percent change 2-year percent change 3-year percent change

All items

3.7 12.2 18.1

Educational books and supplies

-3.4 1.0 1.4

Information technology, hardware, and services

-1.1 -4.3 -3.0

Sports goods

-1.2 2.5 10.3

Other recreational goods

-1.5 1.8 3.0

Footwear

-0.1 5.0 10.4

Prices for information technology, hardware, and services declined 1.1 percent over the year ended August 2023 and were 3.0 percent below their August 2020 level.

Prices for sports goods decreased 1.2 percent over the year ended August 2023 and prices for other recreational goods, which include musical instruments and accessories, decreased 1.5 percent. From August 2020 to August 2023, prices for sports goods increased 10.3 percent while prices for other recreational goods only increased 3.0 percent.

Footwear prices were basically unchanged (−0.1 percent) over the year ended August 2023. From August 2020 to August 2023, prices for footwear increased 10.4 percent.

These data are from the Consumer Price Index program and are not seasonally adjusted. To learn more, see "Consumer Price Index — August 2023." Also see more charts related to the latest Consumer Price Index news release.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, A look at consumer prices in back-to-school season at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/a-look-at-consumer-prices-in-back-to-school-season.htm (visited June 19, 2024).

OF INTEREST
spotlight
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics


triangle