LAS VEGAS - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) estimates the industry closed out 2007 with full-year factory sales to dealers of a record $161.7 billion, a gain of 8.4 percent from 2006, and is forecasting a gain of 6.1 percent for this year, with volume rising to $171.6 billion, according to figures being announced here in Las Vegas at the International Consumer Electronics Show.
Despite the general economic slowdown in last year’s final quarter, the 2007 estimate is a significant improvement on the outlook for the year CEA issued at the CES last January. Then it was forecasting 2007 sales to come in at $155.2 billion, up just 6.5 percent from 2006. CEA’s data is derived from actual sales totals and estimates provided by member companies participating in its statistical programs.
According to CEA, the industry’s largest category by far continued to be In-Home Technologies, a sector that includes all video, audio, communications and computer products, with sales last year rising better than 5 percent to $76.3 billion, with nearly a third of that total, or more than $25 billion, coming from sales of digital TVs. CEA says the industry passed an important digital TV milestone in 2007 as market penetration topped 50 percent of all U.S. TV households. It anticipates digital TV sales will generate volume of more than $28 billion in 2008, helping overall sales of In-Home Technology products to rise nearly 5.7 percent to $80.6 billion.
The Anywhere Technologies sector, made up of digital cameras, camcorders, portable audio, portable communications and electronic gaming products, is estimated to have posted about a 14 percent sales gain to $53.9 billion in 2007, and the outlook for this year is for a rise of just over 6 percent to $57.1 billion.
The fastest growing sales sector in 2007 was In-Vehicle Technologies, which covers aftermarket and factory-installed audio equipment, and aftermarket video and navigation gear, with sale for the year estimated at almost $11.4 billion, up some 15 percent from 2006. For 2008 CEA is looking for a 12.9 percent increase to $12.8 billion.
Blank recording media, batteries and the industry’s vast array of accessories are included in CEA’s Consumer Electronics Enhancement category, which, the trade group estimates, generated $20.1 billion in 2007 sales, up just under 5 percent from the preceding year. For this year the forecast for the sector calls for a 4.4 percent gain to almost $21 billion.