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Record Holiday Spending Projected for CE

Arlington, VA–Consumer electronics products dominate the holiday wish lists of adults and teens and will generate $48.1 billion in fourth quarter sales, according to research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Results from the 14th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns study were presented today at CEAs Industry Forum, a four-day conference designed to inform, connect and educate CE professionals, industry analysts and the media on the latest CE trends and technologies.

Consumer electronics will be the shining star of holiday retail sales, accounting for 22 percent of all gifts given, said CEA Economist Shawn DuBravac. Two of the top 5 items on adults holiday wish lists are consumer electronics, and four of the top 5 items on the teen list are CE devices, so todays hottest technologies will be on every holiday shoppers mind. Holiday sales will be particularly jolly for the video game category (hardware and software), laptop computers and the endless array of accessories available for your favorite product.

The top five wish list items for all adult survey respondents: computers, peace and happiness, big screen TV, clothes and money. Notably, the big screen TV moved up in the 2007 survey to number three from 11th in 2006. The teen list remained unchanged: clothes, MP3 player, video games, computer and cell phone.

While overall holiday spending will increase, we found consumers are cutting back on decorations, home purchases and travel, but not gifts, especially electronics. The average CE gift giver will spend $358 on those gifts this season, DuBravac said.

CEA forecasts $22.1 billion will be spent on holiday CE gifts this year, which represents 46 percent of total fourth quarter revenue for consumer electronics. Total fourth quarter sales will reach $48.1 billion – a 7 percent increase from $44.8 billion in 2006.

The survey also tracked specific consumer electronics consumers hope to receive. The top five CE gifts adults wish for are MP3 players, notebook/laptops, video game systems, digital cameras and any type of TV. For teens, MP3 players, digital cameras notebook/laptops, computers and any type of TV round out the top five items on their wish list.

Leading the planned gift list this year a list of the CE products respondents intend to purchase for someone else — are video game systems, additional memory for cameras, MP3 players, DVD players, and digital cameras.

Both lists demonstrate strong industry trends; consumers want to connect with others, create additional content, be more flexible and enhance the products they already have, DuBravac said. Many households today desire greater portability and are replacing desktops with laptops. These laptops can do more than they could a few years ago, facilitating content creation. Video games and other devices are incorporating social networking applications and user interfaces, connecting like-minded consumers around the world. And accessories are enhancing all of these products, making the user experience better than ever.