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Consumer Electronics Spending Continues To Drop

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Consumer Economic Confidence Unchanged in February, According to Latest CEA-CNET Indexes

Consumer confidence in the overall economy was virtually unchanged in February, according to figures released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET (www.cnet.com). Despite positive growth in certain categories, such as digital displays, the CEA-CNET Indexes also show that consumer expectations about technology spending continue to fall.

The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) reached 166.4 in February, which is relatively unchanged from January, when the index measured 166.6. The index is down over 12 points from this time last year.

“We are now 14 months into the recession, and consumers remain anxious about the future,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s economist and director of research. “Unemployment continues to rise and the two key sources of financial wealth — real estate and stocks — remain muted.”

Consumer confidence in CE and technology dropped nearly 9 points in February 2009 to 68.4, the lowest level since the CEA-CNET Indexes were initiated in January of 2007. The 8.9 point drop was the third largest single-month decline for the CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE). The ICTE, which measures consumers’ confidence in consumer electronics and technology, is down over 21 points from this same time last year.

“Consumers continue to delay discretionary purchases, and we are in the midst of one of the worst drops in consumer spending in the last 40 years,” said DuBravac. “The drop in February is not completely surprising considering the decent strength in consumer spending on technology in January. While consumer spending is down across the board, we are still seeing positive growth in several product categories such as digital displays, accessories and video games.”

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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