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CEA-CNET: Consumer Confidence Is Improving

11/08/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern
ARLINGTON, VA. — Consumer confidence in the overall economy improved in October, according to the latest figures released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET.

The CEA-CNET Index also shows confidence in consumer spending on technology is down slightly from last month.

The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) increased for the third straight month to 167.1 in October. The ICE, which measures consumer expectations about the broader economy, rose 3.7 points but remains down seven points from this time last year.

“Consumer sentiment in the overall direction of the economy is slowly shifting,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA chief economist and research director, in a prepared statement. “Uncertainty remains pervasive but the overall sentiment has risen three consecutive months showing that consumers are seeing marginal improvement in their economic outlook.”

The CEA-CNET of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE) is down from last month. The ICTE, which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, fell 1.6 points to 79.3. ICTE remains at the same level as one year ago.

“As we move into the important holiday season, the consensus view for holiday retail remains tepid, consistent with a mired sentiment. However, tech continues to show resiliency,” said DuBravac. “We expect consumer tech retail sales will be the leading category within overall holiday sales.”

CEA’s 17th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, released last month, shows that interest in electronics this holiday will be at an all-time high. Consumers will spend $232 on CE gifts, up five percent from last year and the highest level since CEA began tracking holiday spending. Nearly a third of consumers’ total gift budgets will be allocated to CE. The study found consumers will spend an average of $1,412 this holiday, including $750 on gifts. Notebook/laptop computers, the iPad and eReaders are among the most wanted gifts this year.

The CEA-CNET Indexes comprise the ICE and ICTE, both of which are updated on a monthly basis through consumer surveys. New data is released on the fourth Tuesday of each month. CEA and CNET have been tracking index data since January 2007. See CEACNETindexes.org for past data.
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