Consumer Electronics Group: Strong Holiday Retail Growth

A new study predicts an increase in holiday spending this year of 11 percent — a more optimistic view than another recent forecast.

Consumer spending during the holiday season is expected to increase 11 percent this year thanks in part to consumer electronics gifts, according to a study released this week by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Recently, we looked at a less jolly holiday sales report by the National Retail Federation (NRF), which predicted slower growth in sales than in recent years.

It only seems right, during an election season, to do some fact checking here.

“We produce a point estimate for retail sales in a very similar way to what NRF does,” said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and director of research for CEA. But “what they’re calling retail sales and what we’re calling retail sales is slightly different.”

CEA bases its data solely on so-called GAFO retail numbers—general merchandise, apparel and accessories, furniture, and other sales. According to NRF’s website, its estimate includes retail numbers from auto parts, discounters, and grocery stores, among other retailers.

DuBravac thinks there’s a chance that CEA’s prediction will be surpassed as consumer electronics companies roll out a slew of new products in advance of the holiday shopping season.

“The iPhone 5 launched [last month], together with some other products. We’ve got the potential for another launch next week from Apple. You’ve got a variety of other phone launches from companies like Motorola,” he said. “It’s a very positive thing. There’s a lot of upward momentum for consumer electronics.”

Rob Stott

By Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. MORE

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