Arlington, Va. — Consumer confidence in the overall economy was virtually unchanged in February, according to figures released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and CNET.
The CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) came in at 166.4 in February, compared with 166.6 in January. The index has declined more than 12 points in 12 months.
“We are now 14 months into the recession, and consumers remain anxious about the future,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s economist and research director. “Unemployment continues to rise and the two key sources of financial wealth — real estate and stocks — remain muted.”
Consumer confidence in CE and technology specifically dropped nearly 9 points in February to 68.4, the lowest level since the CEA-CNET Indexes were initiated in January 2007. The 8.9-point drop was the third largest single-month decline for the CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE). The ICTE, which measures consumers’ confidence in consumer electronics and technology, is down more than 21 points from this same time last year.
“Consumers continue to delay discretionary purchases, and we are in the midst of one of the worst drops in consumer spending in the last 40 years,” said DuBravac. “The drop in February is not completely surprising considering the decent strength in consumer spending on technology in January. While consumer spending is down across the board, we are still seeing positive growth in several product categories such as digital displays, accessories and video games.”
The CEA-CNET Indexes 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. To find current and past indexes, charts, methodology and future release dates go to www.CEACNETindexes.org.