Laptops and HD televisions continue to boost consumer durable market despite credit crunch

GfK: ‘Durables spending to grow in 2008’

Sales of consumer electronics and computers are expected to help drive growth in consumer durables, despite the credit crunch impacting products associated with home improvement, such as DIY tools and new appliances, according to figures out from GfK.

2007 saw the average household spend £1,800 on consumer durables – up on 2006’s average of £1,744. GfK is predicting that, despite the credit crunch, that figures will rise again in 2008, albeit at a slow rate, to an average of £1,836 per household.

That represents a £900 million increase on 2007’s market value, which was £46 billion, but lower than the £1.4 billion on 2006’s figures.

Much of the growth during 2008 is expected to come from pent up demand for luxury items such as high-definition television – which are alone expected to account for £4.6 billion – as well as laptops and other consumer electronics.

Both the £10 billion IT and £9 billion consumer electronics markets saw growth in April 2008 of ten per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively, much of it driven by laptops and flat screen televisions. In the first week of April, laptops were up by 43 per cent on the same time in 2007, while flat screen televisions were also up by 34 per cent in the first week of May.

Speaking about the figures, GfK commercial director James Randall said: "While April was the worst month for consumer durables sales in over two years, demand for higher priced items remains strong and will do so for the remained of 2008.

"In particular, laptops and flat panel televisions are becoming increasingly attractive as they reach even lower price points."

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