TORONTO — Canadians will be digging a little deeper into their pockets during this year’s back-to-school shopping season, a new survey suggests.According to the Pollara survey, Canadians intend to shell out an average of $428 per child on items such as school supplies, clothing and technology as their kids head back to class.That’s an increase of 18.2% over last year, when they planned to spend an average of $362 per child.Back-to-school shopping typically marks the start of the peak selling season as retailers gear up for Christmas.Regionally, Quebecers plan to shell out the most on back-to-school shopping this year — an average of $501 per child — followed by shoppers in the Atlantic Canada and the Prairies, who intend to spend $450, on average.Ontarians lag at the back of the pack with plans to spend $390 per child, on average, while Albertans are budgeting for an average of $431 and shoppers in B.C. are planning to spend $403.Parents with kids who are in college or university plan to spend the most — an average of $572 per child.Those with high school kids plan to spend an average of $226 per child, while parents of kindergarten and elementary school children plan to spend $170.The online poll, which was funded by the Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO), surveyed roughly 1,000 Canadians.The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.“The end of summer is an important time of the year for many businesses that sell back to school supplies,” Mike Bonner, vice-president of commercial banking at BMO, said in a statement.“Many will see an increase in the number of shoppers and dollars spent during the season, leading to a positive impact on their bottom line.”

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