The US back-to-school season, now in full swing, looks likely to be a highly satisfactory one for retailers with parents planning to spend 20 per cent more than last year, says Jane Mallin. Two separate retail surveys showed this week that the US back to school market is booming. The National Retail Federation (NRF) surveyed 883 parents of children between ages 6 to 17 and found that they intended to spend an average of $549 on back to school items.