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Tech-Spending Sentiment Hits Five-Year Nov. High: CEA

Arlington, Va. With just days to go before Black Friday weekend, consumer inclination to buy tech products hit its highest November level since 2009, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reported.

According to the trade group’s Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), consumer confidence toward tech spending rose 2.7 points to 92.9, which bodes well for CE retailers and their suppliers, but “is challenging other popular product categories, such as clothing, as the big winner this holiday shopping weekend,” said CEA chief economist and senior research director Shawn DuBravac.

Indeed, 31 percent of consumers plan to buy electronics over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to a CEA Pre-Black Friday Survey, with most expecting to buy a tablet (30 percent), followed closely by laptop computers (29 percent), video game consoles (29 percent) and TVs (22 percent).

Meanwhile, the CEA Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE), which measures consumer expectations about the broader economy, increased 4.7 points in November to reach 168.4, the highest level since November 2010.

“Consumers are feeling decidedly more optimistic about the economy,” said DuBravac. “The equity markets continue to rally following resolution of the government shutdown. Gasoline prices have trended down which is giving consumers more room to shop as we head into the holiday shopping season. All of these factors bode well for holiday sales.”

He added that CEA is sticking to its original October forecast of 4 percent growth for total holiday retail sales this season.