There is still a month before the kids head back to the classroom, but parents are already lining up to fill their shopping baskets.

The National Retail Federation surveyed parents on what they predict their spending will look like, and found that retailers can expect an 8% drop compared to last year.

Certified financial planner and CPA Bill Dendy says the news is neither shocking nor unexpected.  2012 was a banner year for back-to-school purchases that was not predicted to be repeated.

“I think people had pent up demand,” Dendy told KTRH News.  “So they rushed out and they bought their ipads, and their tablets and they got their wardrobe restocked, and here we are in 2013 and we’re settling back down.”

Families will spend an average of $634.78 on back-to-school supplies this year, $26.7 billion nationally.  And that’s for school-aged children.  When they head off to college, it gets really expensive.  The nation spends $45.8 billion getting school and dorm supplies for those pursuing higher education.

And if you have been to any of the popular large department stores, you’ve seen the lines already forming.

“Many shoppers are already starting shopping here in July for school that starts at the end of August.  That’s quite a bit earlier than the last 11 years,” Dendy says.

The survey by the National Retail Federation found that many students are keeping left-over supplies from last year, and parents are comparison-shopping online more often now.