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Audio Sales Slump In July Ends 2-Yr. Winning Streak

Declining portable and car audio sales pulled down total factory-level audio sales by 0.6% in July to $630 million, interrupting 23 consecutive months of growth, EIA statistics show.

The drop, following two months of low-single-digit growth, left total seven-month sales at $4.25 billion, up 5.7%.

In the home component market, sales increased in July for the seventh consecutive month, rising 7.5% to a four-year high of $136 million and contributing to a 9.3% boost in year-to-date sales to $917 million.

July’s component growth was led by a 70% increase in dollar sales of speakers, the EIA said. Sales of[text]traditional shelf, floor and wall-mount speakers rose at only half that pace to $24 million, bringing year-to-date sales to $156 million.

Sales of high-capacity CD changers storing 10 or more discs were up 21% to $4 million.

Home systems reversed three months of shrinking sales with a modest July increase of 4.6% to a record $134 million, bringing year-to-date sales to $816 million, up 4.1%. A 22% surge in July’s shelf-system sales offset a big 27% decline in rack-system sales. For the first seven months of the year, shelf sales were up 8% to $538 million, and rack sales were down 2% to $278 million.

Combined sales of home systems and components hit a record $270 million in July, rising 6.1% to bring year-to-date sales to $1.73 billion, up 6.8%.

In the car stereo market, sales fell for the second consecutive month. July sales dipped 3.3% to $153 million, but on the strength of first-half growth, year-to-date sales were up 7.4% to $1.19 billion.

In July autosound dollar sales, speakers were up 8%, CD players rose 10%, and cassette sales were off 22%.

Portable audio sales slipped for the third consecutive month in July, falling 6.3% to $208 million, but at $1.33 billion were still up 2.9% for the full period. EIA said July headphone CD sales were strong, but CD boomboxes went bust, falling 20%.