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CEA: Consumer Confidence in Economy Up, Technology Down
Oct 28, 2010
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Consumer confidence in the overall economy improved in October 2010 while confidence in consumer spending on technology is down slightly, according to figures from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET.

The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) increased for the third straight month to 167.1 in October – up 3.7 points from September but down 7 points from a year ago. The ICE measures consumer expectations about the broader economy.

"Uncertainty remains pervasive but the overall sentiment has risen three consecutive months showing that consumers are seeing marginal improvement in their economic outlook,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA chief economist and director of research.

The CEA-CNET of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE) is down from last month. The ICTE, which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, fell 1.6 points to 79.3. The index remains at the same level as one year ago.

“As we move into the important holiday season, the consensus view for holiday retail remains tepid, consistent with a mired sentiment,” said DuBravac.

Still, DuBravac said, tech continues to show resiliency and, based on the recently released CEA Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, she expects consumer tech retail sales "will be the leading category within overall holiday sales.”

CEA’s 17th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study predicts consumers will spend $232 on consumer electronics (CE) gifts, up 5% from last year and the highest level since CEA began tracking holiday spending. Nearly a third of consumers’ total gift budgets will be allocated to CE. The study found consumers will spend an average of $1412 this holiday, including $750 on gifts. Notebook/laptop computers, the Apple iPad, and eReaders are among the most wanted gifts in 2010.

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