Consumer Electronics sales will increase only 1.5% this holiday season, according to market research firm TNS Retail Forward. That amount represents the smallest holiday increase since 1991, when merchants reported a 1.2% gain, the group said.
“The holiday sales forecast represents a weakening from modest third-quarter growth as the boost from tax rebates runs out,” noted Frank Badillo, senior economist for TNS Retail Forward. “The benefit from a letup in gasoline prices will be overwhelmed by the impact of rising unemployment, tighter credit and other hardships on households.”
Online sales across all sectors will continue to lead the pack, with 9% growth, the firm said, which will be down significantly from last year’s 19% gains. TNS Retail Forward forecasted online sales to reach US$42.5 billion in the fourth quarter, up $3.5 billion from the prior year.
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