CEA analysts: Holiday spending to rise for mobile phones, GPS

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Although consumer sentiment about the economy is at its lowest in 15 years, a number of consumer electronics products will actually pick up momentum over last year's spending during the 2008 holiday season, CEA analysts contended, at a press conference today.

In CEA surveys in September and October, consumers said their overall holiday spending -- beyond just the consumer electronics category -- will drop 14 percent compared to 2007. But fourth quarter spending on consumer electronics goods will actually climb 3 percent this year, said Tim Herbert, one of the analysts, during a day of pre-CES press activities.

Computer sales will fall by one percentage point, but many other CE products will rise: mobile phones by 11%, video games by 5.6%, audio/video (A/V) systems by 3.9%, and GPS and in-car video by 30%, for instance.

The CEA also identified a couple of trends supporting what it sees as consumer willingness to spend money on consumer electronics during the 2008 holidays.

CEA analysts Steve Koenig and Tim Herbert, at a press event in New York City, November 11, 2008

Left to right, CEA analysts Steve Koenig and Tim Herbert.

In a poll, 61% of respondents told the CEA that CE products are becoming "increasingly important" in their lives, according to Steve Koenig, another CEA analyst. Another 49% acknowledged that they plan to do "cocooning" with CE products in the coming months.

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