ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — With inflation gripping the nation, parents in Illinois are expected to shell out nearly $900 per househould in back-to-school supplies this fall.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average household is expected to spend $864.35 on clothing, supplies and other items for the next school year, the highest it has ever been.

The increase is up $15 from 2021 and $168 from 2019, when the average family spent $696.

The total back-to-school spending in 2022 is expected to reach $37 billion nationwide, roughly the same as last year.

“Families consider back-to-school and college items as an essential category, and they are taking whatever steps they can, including cutting back on discretionary spending, shopping sales and buying store- or off-brand items in order to purchase what they need for the upcoming school year,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. 

Inflation has continued to surge, at 9.1%, the highest increase since 1981. On a monthly basis, prices rose 1.3% from May to June, another substantial increase, after prices had jumped 1% from April to May.

According to NRF data, 69% of parents say they plan to start shopping at least three weeks before school begins.

Illinois will offer a sales tax holiday on school supplies for 10 days in August.

Sales taxes for qualified clothing and school-related items will be reduced from 6.25% to 1.25% for a 10-day window from August 5 to 14.

Items include qualifying clothing and footwear with a retail selling price of less than $125 per item. Eligible school supplies are not subject to the $125 threshold.