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CE Retailers Enjoy Boffo Black Friday

ARLINGTON, VA. — The final numbers are still coming in, but based on an early read by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), CE merchants will likely be pleased with their top-line Black Friday results.

“Strong sentiment toward technology spending [in November] suggests tech will perform well during the year’s biggest shopping weekend,” said Shawn DuBravac, the trade group’s chief economist, on the eve of the Black Friday period.

DuBravac based his forecast on CEA’s Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), which measures consumer intent to purchase CE. The November index surged ahead of Black Friday and the peak holiday shopping period, and outpaced last year’s figure by 1.6 points.

“Consumers appear to have held off slightly on tech purchases in October in preparation for holiday shopping, including Black Friday,” he said.

CEA anticipates a 2.5 percent increase in tech spend for all of Holiday 2014 – up from 0.9 percent growth last year – for a record $33.8 billion haul.

Fueling the gains are lower gas prices and greater consumer confidence, DuBravac said, plus a confluence of e-commerce sales, with a record-busting 103.3 million Americans expected to have shopped online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.