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The Nielsen Company is out with its annual Back-to-School Forecast, projecting that there will be a dollar sales rise of 0.4 to 1.3 percent to $2.17 billion, a pace below the growth achieved in 2008.

Unit sales will drop to 1.18 billion, down 5.5 percent from 2008.

Just for comparison’s sake, Nielsen notes that in 2008, it predicted that dollar sales of back-to-school supplies would rise 2.6 percent; the actual result was 2.4 percent.
KC's View:
One interesting note in the forecast is that bottled water will see major gains this season. “Often considered a discretionary item, bottled water is consumed as a staple, and is expected to out-pace juice sales with a dollar growth of 3.57 percent.”

Which may say something about why there are reports that child obesity rates in this country may be leveling off. The question is, what happens if the anti-bottled water sentiment gains any sort of traction?