CE Holiday Purchases To Rise 16%: Conference Board

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New York - U.S. households are expected to spend 16 percent more on CE and software gift purchases this season over last.

According to a Nielsen consumer survey conducted last month for the Conference Board, a not-for-profit research organization, CE will enjoy the second-biggest bump over the holidays behind toys and games, whose intended purchases are up 16.6 percent.

 Forty-four percent of respondents said they will spend the same amount as last year on CE, while 40 percent said they would spend less. By comparison, only 7 percent of consumers said they plan to spend more on total holiday gifting this year, while 40 percent said they would spend less.

Total gift expenditures are expected to average of $497 per household, the survey showed, and four out of 10 holiday shoppers said they expect more than half of their purchases to be on sale or discounted.

"As the holiday season approaches, we once again find consumers in a frugal mood," says Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "With the overwhelming majority of consumers expecting to spend the same or less than they did last year, it's not surprising that they expect a large share of their purchases to be on sale or discounted."

 The survey also revealed that close to two-thirds of consumers expect to purchase a portion of their holiday gifts online, with about 15 percent indicating that more than half of their gifts will be purchased from e-tailers.

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