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Consumer Confidence Falls in April

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However, Confidence in Consumer Electronics Elevates to This Year’s Highest Level

Consumer confidence in the overall economy decreased in April, according to figures released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET. Although there was a slight decrease in consumer expectations about the future, the CEA-CNET Indexes painted a different picture for technology spending expectations, which reached their highest level this year.

The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE), which measures consumers’ confidence in the overall economy, dipped to 168.5 in April, but was up nearly three points over April 2008. The number is down four points from last month and moderates the upward trend persistent since February.

“Consumers continue to worry about economic uncertainty,” said Anne Claudio, Vice President of Research at CBS Interactive. “While we’re seeing indications of overall consumer confidence stabilizing, this month’s decline is still well above the all-time low seen last summer. Consumers continue to be cautious and reactive.”

While overall consumer confidence dipped in April, confidence in technology and consumer electronics (CE) climbed significantly. The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE) rose to 77.4, an increase of more than 10 points from last month and its highest level since December of 2008. The ICTE is up on a year-over-year basis for the first time since last September.

“While tax season may have caused some consumers to be more careful with their personal finances, they are still looking to spend disposable income on technology and CE,” said Claudio. “The ICTE showed that consumers are more likely this month to buy consumer electronics and spend more on those products than last month. We are hoping the increase in the CE confidence index will result in positive returns for manufacturers.”

The CEA-CNET Indexes are comprised of the ICE and the ICTE, both of 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.

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