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CE Able To Handle Economic Doldrums: CEA Panel

New York — Five industry watchers commented on the state of CE today at the Consumer Electronics Association’s 5 on 5 panel today at the Digital Downtown exhibition.

The panel kicked off the discussion by agreeing that the current economic downturn should not greatly impact the CE business and, in fact, the industry could experience an uptick as people hunker down in their homes instead of driving off to the movies or dinner.

“The CE industry tends to be robust,” said Sean Wargo, president and principal consultant of Market Sage, adding that the fact the CE industry is always changing is a huge positive.

Jim Bottoms, co-managing director of Understanding & Solutions, said, “With CE right now we are not talking about luxury products, but essential products that people have to have.”

Also adding a few dollars to the pot is the federal stimulus rebate taxpayers are now receiving, said Ross Rubin, The NPD Group industry analysis director. People are also taking advantage of the converter-box coupon program, he noted, although he was quite sure a number of people across the country will experience a black screen when the digital conversion finally takes place.