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Consumer Tech Sentiment Hits 6-Year High: CEA

Arlington, Va. Consumers’ inclination to buy technology products hit a six-year high this month, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reported.

The trade group’s Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), which measures consumer expectations about tech spending, jumped 9.5 points in October to 90.2, a level last reached in 2007.

CEA is also projecting a 4 percent increase in total retail holiday sales year over year, to $738 billion, covering the months of November and December.

“Consumer interest in tech has moved up decidedly heading into the holiday season,” observed Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and senior research director, citing new product introductions and early retail promotions and advertising.

Indeed, consumer tech sentiment is outpacing shoppers’ outlook for the economy overall. The CEA Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE), which measures consumer expectations about the broader economy, increased two points in October to 163.7, but remains 14 points lower than the year-ago period.

Nevertheless, “After two months of declines, the recent government resolution, although temporary, coupled with generally improving financial conditions, has consumers feeling more confident this month toward the overall economy,” DuBravac said.

CEA is expected to release its full 2013 Holiday Retail Sales Forecast report later today at the group’s Industry Forum in Los Angeles.