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Electronics Makers See Signs of Optimism

CEA says while consumers remain ‘wary,’ spending should be up this holiday

Four of five American adults plan to buy consumer electronics products this holiday season.

That’s among the findings of research by the Consumer Electronics Association.

It says that number is the highest in 16 years it has taken the survey.

“Overall gift spending this holiday will increase 4 percent over last year despite a drop in overall holiday spending,” CEA found. “Spending on CE will also increase over last year. Consumers plan to spend an average of $222 on consumer electronics this holiday, a gain of 8 percent over last year. Half of consumers also plan to buy a CE product for themselves this holiday.”

CEA officials say they see evidence of “pent-up” demand for technology products. One official said consumers “remain wary but there are signs of optimism in our holiday forecast.”

Topping adults’ holiday gift wish list are clothes, computers and video games. CEA said televisions and digital cameras also made their list. “Several emerging technologies, such as Blu-ray players, eReaders and netbooks, are among the most wanted and hottest gifts this season. These products are in adults top 10 CE wish list for the first time, joining mainstays such as notebooks, portable MP3 players and flat-panel TVs.”

Netbooks are also hot, especially among teens, it continued. “Portable MP3 players, video game consoles and digital cameras are among the most popular gifts consumers are planning on giving their friends and family this year.”