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Holiday Forecast 2012: Consumers Plan to Spend More
Oct 18, 2012
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Overall holiday spending is expected to increase 11% this year, with spending on consumer electronics gifts also likely to increase, according to a study from the Consumer Electronics Association (Arlington, VA, U.S.).

The report said consumer electronics continue to be among the most wanted gifts in 2012 and are expected to account for nearly a third of all gift spending. Consumers plan to spend $1,634 on average this holiday, up 11% from 2011. Consumers plan to allocate $842, on average, from their overall budget towards gifts, up 9% from 2011. Consumers plan to spend $252 on CE this year, on par with $246 in 2011. The report said 76% of gift giving adults plan to purchase CE products as a gift in 2012.

"Consumers are feeling more confident in the overall direction of the economy this holiday season compared to last year and, as a result, will spend more on gifts, including electronics," said Shawn DuBravac, CEA's chief economist and senior director of research. "CE continues to play a leading role in holiday shopping and this year is no exception, as consumers will dedicate a large portion of their overall gift budget towards electronics, specifically mobile connected devices."

Mobile connected devices - specifically tablet computers - are the most wanted gifts this season. Tablets are the most wanted gift on adults' overall holiday wish list and their CE wish list. Money and peace/happiness come after tablets. Also in the Top 5 on the overall wish list: smartphones and notebook/laptop computers.

Consumers will also be giving mobile connected devices as gifts. Their expected popularity in 2012, in order:
* smartphones
* tablets
* notebook/laptop computers
* DVD/Blu-ray players

CE accessories are also expected to be popular gifts, particularly:
* headphones/earbuds
* carrying cases
* memory cards

Gift cards will also remain popular - 77% of U.S. adults plan on giving a gift card. These will be predominantly for media buys:
* 26% for music
* 20% for e-books
* 16% for apps
* 15% for online gaming

The most important criteria among consumers deciding where to shop for CE gifts in 2012: pricing.

Pricing may also be a big influence on how consumers find deals:
* 66% intend to compare prices of CE purchases online before actually buying
* 41% are likely to compare prices on their smartphone/tablet while in-store
* 28% intend to look for promotions on social networking

Consumers fully expect to find good deals this year:
* 79% think overall holiday shopping deals will be as good or better than in 2011
* 81% think Thanksgiving weekend deals will be as good as or better than Thanksgiving 2011

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