While the factory value of total industry sales declined last year, the first such drop in a decade, 2001 goes into the books as the second biggest year ever.
In addition, 2002 should see a major turnaround and a new sales record, according to data released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) at the International CES.
Based on a consensus of figures supplied by association members and Market Research Department staffers, CEA estimates that 2001 factory sales of consumer electronics products came in at nearly $93.2 billion, down just over $2 billion, or 2.1 percent, from the $95.2 billion of 2000. That marked the first such year-to-year fall-off since 1991, when sales slipped a more modest $250 million to $42.8 billion.
CEA is forecasting a moderate 2.7 percent sales improvement this year, with sales coming in at $95.7 billion and eclipsing the record high set in 2000.
The biggest revenue drop in 2001 came in video, where the near doubling of sales of digital products was more than offset by the combination of dropping unit sales and prices of traditional analog items. Sales in 2001 were off 8 percent to $16.9 billion. But the continuing surge in demand for digital products is expected to lead to a 4.5 percent increase to $17.7 billion in sales this year.
Audio suffered a similar fate last year, with sales down 5.9 percent to $6.04 billion, but the 2002 outlook is for a 1.4 percent improvement to $6.13 billion. Also off last year were home information products, which posted an estimated 5.3 percent drop to $34.3 billion. The CEA forecast for this year sees a 2.5 percent slippage to $33.4 billion, as PC sales suffer the fourth consecutive year of flat-to-down sales and demand for telephone products weakens.
New platforms drove the value of video game hardware and software sales to an estimated $9.98 billion, up 16.7 percent from the record set in 2000, and the 15 percent rise predicted for this year is to push sales to $11.5 billion. Factory installed autosound equipment, mobile video and navigation products had higher sales in 2001, and led mobile electronics to a 0.4 percent improvement to nearly $16 billion. This year mobile sales are expected to reach $16.5 billion, up 3.5 percent.
Blank computer media, primarily recordable CDs, and accessories had healthy performances in 2001, offsetting weakness in blank tape and batteries, as the media and accessories category posted a 1.8 percent improvement to $8.16 billion. CEA's outlook for 2002 is for a stronger 4.9 percent gain to $8.56 billion. Home securing products had a 4 percent sales gain to $1.82 billion in 2001 and are expected to be up 5.5 percent to $1.92 billion this year.