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Consumer Technology Down but Not Out in Tough Economic Times

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September U.S. Sales Experience Slight Decline

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 23, 2008 – U.S. consumer technology retail sales were down slightly in September, but not the significant declines that some feared would hit the electronics industry, according to leading market researcher, The NPD Group. 

NPD’s retail tracking service reveals a 2 percent decline in sales over last September, indicating some weakening from August’s back-to-school driven 2 percent increase.  In 2007, September sales were weak as well with revenue falling by 1 percent versus 2006.

September flat-panel TV unit sales were up 20 percent from last year. Unit volume of flat-panels over 40 inches increased by almost 30 percent from September 2007 and dollars advanced 10 percent.  Notebook computers rang up a 9 percent increase in revenue on unit growth of slightly over 12 percent.  This was down only slightly from August’s 10 percent revenue and 15 percent unit gain.  DSLRs were also a strong revenue producer in September with a 9.5 percent increase. 

“The industry struggled a little this month, it’s to be expected when the economy is slowing, but the consumers who can spend will continue to,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for NPD.  “These key categories are continuing to perform, and tellingly, these growth segments are delivering faster unit growth than dollar growth while still maintaining average selling prices of $800 to $900. Growth is slowing but in a year with few new products to drive excitement these high priced staples of the technology industry continue to be in demand.”

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Sarah Bogaty
+1 516 625 2357

The NPD Group, Inc.
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Port Washington, NY 11050

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