Consumers are expected to follow the same path in spending they took last year, opening up their wallets in the second half after belt-tightening in the first half of the year. So said CEA Director of Industry Analysis Steve Koenig at KnowledgeFest this week.
“We’re starting to see a repeat of last year. Consumer spending slowed in the first half and it did that again this year.”
The U.S. economy appears pinned between recession and recovery and it may be some time before we see serious momentum. “Last year it was oil shocks and disruption in Japan. This year it’s uncertainty in Europe and an election year…We’re hopeful for another lift in spending for the fall and we’re seeing some evidence of that,” said Koenig.
“We’re starting to see some pick up in auto sales,” he added.
The new spending cycle appears due to the fact that consumers seem to grow tired of penny pinching as the holidays draw near, and they are enticed by pre-holiday bargains.
The CEA performs an annual study in the fall on consumer plans to spend over Christmas. The numbers have gained steadily since 2008 and CEA expects that to continue. In 2008, 64 percent of respondents said they planned to buy a consumer electronics product over the holidays. In 2010 that number was 73 percent, and in 2011 it rose to 83 percent. But much of those purchases were in smartphones and tablets.
One of the car audio products that many consumers plan to buy is an iPod adaptor for the car. In a survey in April the CEA found that 14 percent of households plan to buy an iPod adaptor.