CEA Survey: Holiday Sales to Jump 7 Percent
“Despite some downside risks, the consumer is employed, healthy, growing and spending.”
That was the assessment offered at the CEA’s Industry Forum, held Oct. 14 to 17 at San Diego’s Hotel Del Coronado by the group’s director of research, Joe Bates, as he presented results of the CES sponsor organization’s 14 th Annual Holiday Sales Survey of about 1,000 U.S. consumers. The data, culled last month in phone interviews that were designed to discover respondents’ consumer electronics purchase intentions for holiday gift-giving, projected a seven percent growth in sales of CE during the October-to-December period – down from last year’s projected 15 percent uptick over 2005, but still a positive result, said Bates, when measured against a raft of market influences – not the least of which he characterized as “the elephant in the room – the slow housing market.” The group also separately polled about 500 teens for its 4th Annual Youth Survey.
Other stresses on the statistical percentages, he added, include a slowing job market – three million jobs were added to the work force in 2006 but only 1.3 million in 2007 – and pricing pressures affecting wholesale market growth, which was up 12 and 17 percent, respectively, in 2005 and 2006 but has slowed to just five percent in 2007. However, he said, the figures when viewed in aggregate indicate that “the consumer remains healthy and income growth is solid. There is a solid base for growth in consumer spending,” particularly for CE items, as buyers reallocate spending “away from things like dishwashers and toward buying technology. The customer is in a good mindset for the holiday shopping season.”