Back-to-school season usually kicks off the retailers’ busy season. Retailers are watching this season particularly anxiously, since the last several years have seen consumers holding off on purchases until later in the fall

16 states have back-to-school tax-free weekends this year, hoping to boost economic activity. Different states allow the purchase of different categories of items tax-free, from school supplies to dorm necessities. 

South Carolina’s tax-free weekend starts at 12:01am on Friday, August 1 and goes through midnight on Sunday, August 3. Eligible items are listed on the SC Department of Revenue website, and include clothing, hats, scarves, handbags, footwear, school supplies, computers, printers and printer supplies, computer software, blankets, bed linens, shower curtains, bath rugs and mats, pillows, and pillow cases.

Forecasters predict that this season will be a better one. The National Retail Federation’s economists calculated that retail sales increased about 2.9% in the first half of this year, and they’re looking for a 3.9% increase this fall.