updated 7/31/2007 3:48:07 PM ET 2007-07-31T19:48:07

Families with school-age children will be snapping up electronics and footwear as they spend an average of $563.49 for back-to-school items this year, according to a survey by a retail industry trade group.

According to The National Retail Federation's 2007 back-to-school survey, conducted by market research company BIGresearch, back-to-school spending is up nearly 7 percent this year.

Total back-to-school spending is expected to be about $18.4 billion.

According to the survey, spending on electronics is expected to rise 13 percent from last year, as families spend an average of $129.24 on items such as computers, educational software and printers.

Footwear sales are expected to rise 10 percent from last year to $108.42 per family.

Families are also expected to spend $94.02 on school supplies, up 9 percent from last year, and $231.80 on clothing and accessories, flat from last year.

Clothing and accessories remains the largest spending category at $7.6 billion.

About 21 percent of parents plan to buy back-to-school merchandise online, up 41 percent from last year. Most, about 68 percent, will head to discount stores for items. Parents also plan to pick up items at office supply stores, drug stores, department stores and specialty stores.

Preteens will spend about $15.38 of their own money for back-to-school items while teenagers will spend $31.19.

The study is based on responses from 8,290 consumers and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percent.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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