ARLINGTON, VA. -The fourth quarter didn't start out well for audio suppliers, whose factory-level sales fell last October for the first time in 2000, Consumer Electronics Association statistics show.
October sales fell 2.1 percent to $992 million, driven down by shrinking home component and aftermarket autosound sales. Growth in the preceding nine months, however, enabled the industry to post an 8.7 percent gain in year-to-date sales to $7.18 billion.
The portable audio and home systems categories, though up, showed weak growth in October. Portable audio sales rose 2.9 percent to $354 million but posted a 16.3 percent year-to-date gain to $2.23 billion. Home system sales rose 0.3 percent to $293 million but gained 7.5 percent for the first 10 months of the year to $1.78 billion.
The autosound aftermarket contracted 7.1 percent for the month to $197 million and posted only a 2 percent year-to-date gain to $1.9 billion.
Home component sales shrank 10.3 percent to $149 million, but strength earlier in the year kept year-to-date sales up by 8.8 percent to $1.27 billion.