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CE Prices Rose 3% In December

Port Washington, N.Y. — CE price points edged up 3 percent in December from November’s record lows, the NPD Group reports.

DVD players showed the biggest gain, up 15 percent over the prior month’s pricing, reflecting steep Black Friday promotions. The next highest price hikes were enjoyed by 3-megapixel cameras and digital memory cards.

The largest price decline between November and December belonged to 802.11g wireless routers, which fell over 7 percent to below $80 for the first time.

The data is based on NPD’s consumer electronics price watch, a monthly pricing monitor that tracks a “market basket” of the 27 most frequently purchased electronics products including televisions, PCs, cameras and media players. Nineteen of the 27 items registered price increases month-over-month, although 23 products were selling for less than they were in December 2003. Indeed, the overall basket value for December — $10,913 — was down nearly 20 percent from the year-ago period.

Interestingly, the 3 percent uptick in December precisely mirrors the prior year’s pricing patterns. Stephen Baker, NPD’s director of industry analysis, attributed the phenomenon to “Black Friday’s outrageously low prices,” and the tendency of December buyers to be “more receptive to expensive desktop PCs, notebook computers, big-screen TVs and the like, as well as being more inclined to spring for more well-known brands and recognizable features.”