Factory-level audio sales surged 13.2 percent to a record $736 million in May, marking the second consecutive month of growth, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reported. Year-to-date sales, however, were off 1.5 percent to $2.91 billion because of the previous three months' sales declines.
For the first time this year, sales in all major audio segments grew, with home systems and aftermarket autosound breaking records for the month.
Here's how each audio segment fared in May:
Home systems: Sales grew at a double-digit rate for the second consecutive month following three months of double-digit declines. Sales were up 22.3 percent to $191 million, but earlier losses kept cumulative sales from rising more than 0.1 percent to $691 million. The segment comprises shelf and rack systems and home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) electronics/speaker packages.
Home components: The segment posted its first monthly gain of the year, rising 10.8 percent to $111 million. Cumulative sales were off only 3.9 percent to $492 million.
Total home audio: Thanks to system growth, combined sales of systems and components hit a record $302 million for the month, up 17.8 percent, but earlier weakness caused cumulative sales to fall 1.6 percent to $1.19 billion.
Autosound: It's looking like the early 1980s again as May sales rose 12 percent to a record $233 million. To date, only March sales have fallen, so cumulative sales are up 9.5 percent to $1.02 billion.
Portable audio: The category, including home radios, posted its first gain of the year in May, rising 8.4 percent to $202 million, but four consecutive months of double-digit rate declines pushed cumulative sales down by 13.7 percent to $710 million.
May 2002 Audio Sales
(Factory level, in millions, 2001)