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Back-To-School CE Spending To Fall By $1 Billion

Consumers will cut their back-to-school spending on consumer electronics by one-third, or about $1 billion, according to a new survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and BIGresearch.

Most of the decline will stem from cooling computer demand, the trade association said.

The poll, conducted last month with 6,487 consumers, showed that CE spending is expected to fall to $2.06 billion from the $3.09 billion that parents and students spent on electronics during the 2004 back-to-school season.

While the number of CE shoppers will actually rise — 44 percent said they plan to purchase CE compared to 41.7 percent last year — the average basket is expected to fall to $68.08 from $101.03 last year.

“Though many consumers will be buying electronics this year, they may be taking a break from spending on high-end computers and other expensive gadgets,” said Tracy Mullin, NRF’s president/CEO. “It is understandable that, after several years of strong gains and record-breaking sales, demand may cool slightly for electronics merchandise this year.”

Mullin added that most of the season’s CE spending will likely come from college students, who will continue to drive sales of PCs, MP3 players and mobile phones.