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CEA-CNET: Consumer Confidence Is Improving


Consumer confidence in the
overall economy improved in October, according to
the latest figures released by the Consumer Electronics
Association (CEA) and CNET.

The CEA-CNET Index also shows confidence in
consumer spending on technology is down slightly
from last month.

The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Expectations
(ICE) increased for the third straight month
to 167.1 in October. The ICE, which measures consumer
expectations about the broader economy,
rose 3.7 points but remains down seven points
from this time last year.

“Consumer sentiment in the overall direction of the
economy is slowly shifting,” said Shawn DuBravac,
CEA chief economist and research director, in a
prepared statement. “Uncertainty remains pervasive
but the overall sentiment has risen three consecutive
months showing that consumers are seeing marginal
improvement in their economic outlook.”

The CEA-CNET of Consumer Technology Expectations
(ICTE) is down from last month. The
ICTE, which measures consumer expectations
about technology spending, fell 1.6 points to 79.3.
ICTE remains at the same level as one year ago.

“As we move into the important holiday season,
the consensus view for holiday retail remains tepid,
consistent with a mired sentiment. However, tech
continues to show resiliency,” said DuBravac. “We
expect consumer tech retail sales will be the leading
category within overall holiday sales.”

CEA’s 17th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns
Study, released last month, shows that interest in
electronics this holiday will be at an all-time high.
Consumers will spend $232 on CE gifts, up five
percent from last year and the highest level since
CEA began tracking holiday spending. Nearly a third
of consumers’ total gift budgets will be allocated to
CE. The study found consumers will spend an average
of $1,412 this holiday, including $750 on gifts.
Notebook/laptop computers, the iPad and eReaders
are among the most wanted gifts this year.

The CEA-CNET Indexes comprise the ICE and
ICTE, both of which are updated on a monthly basis
through consumer surveys. New data is released
on the fourth Tuesday of each month. CEA and
CNET have been tracking index data since January
2007. See

for past data.