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Consumer Confidence in Consumer Electronics Declines

Consumer Confidence Falls, According to Latest CEA-CNET Indexes

Consumer confidence in the economy decreased in the month of October, according to figures released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET (www.CNET.com). The CEA-CNET Indexes also found that consumer confidence in consumer electronics (CE) and technology are down.

The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE), which measures consumers’ confidence in the overall economy, dipped to 163.7 in October. That number is down more than eight points from last month and more than seven points from this time last year. October’s number ends two straight months of positive growth.

“As consumers continue to see the stock market struggle and their 401k’s shrink, it should come as little surprise that consumer confidence in the economy is down,” said Claudia Haase, director of research at CNET. “Even as expectations for the job market and personal financial health both hit all-time lows, consumers remain somewhat optimistic about the future, believing the economy will be better off in the next 12 months than it is today.”

Confidence in CE and technology is also lower this month. The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE) fell to 76.2, marking the third consecutive month of negative growth. The ICTE is eleven points lower than this time last year and is at the second lowest level since CEA and CNET began tracking index data in January 2007. The all-time low of 75.2 was set in May of this year.

“While hoping for better news entering the fourth quarter and the holiday shopping season, it is important to remember that consumer electronics remain one of the most desired products on holiday wish lists,” said Haase. “While consumers will reign back spending this year, according to CEA’s Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, they’ll cut back in other areas before consumer electronics.”

The 15th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, released last week by CEA, shows that consumers will spend 28 percent of their holiday budgets on CE products and services. Peace and happiness rank number one on adults overall holiday wish list with computers coming in second. Televisions, video game systems and cell phones also rank in the top 10.

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The ICE and ICTE comprise the CEA-CNET Indexes, which are updated on a monthly basis through consumer surveys. New data is released on the fourth Tuesday of each month. CEA and CNET have been tracking index data since January 2007. To find current and past indexes, charts, methodology and future release dates, log on to www.CEACNETindexes.org.

View the full report (pdf).

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