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Consumer sentiment on economy hits new high


Following a strong November showing, consumer sentiment toward the overall economy reached a record level in December, according to the latest data released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Arlington VA. Consumer sentiment toward tech spending, however, decreased in December.

Overall economy

The CEA Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE), which measures consumer expectations about the broader economy, jumped 7.3 points from last month to reach 180.1 in December – the highest ICE level since the CEA Indexes began tracking in January 2007.

“Seasonal consumer confidence in the overall economy coupled with declining gasoline prices has sentiment toward the overall economy reaching record levels for December,” said Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D., chief economist, CEA and author of CEA’s soon-to-be released book Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live, and Communicate. “The extra cash consumers are saving on gas prices have them confident about spending this holiday season.”

Technology spending

The CEA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, slipped 5.7 points in December to 88.6.

“Sentiment toward tech spending performed well in November and ahead of the popular Thanksgiving shopping weekend,” said Dr. DuBravac. “But we’re seeing a decrease in sentiment in December, as tech spending was pulled forward into the November sales.”

According to CEA’s holiday outlook, total tech spending over the duration of the holidays will increase 2.5 percent – up from 0.9 percent growth in 2013 – to reach a record $33.76 billion during the entire 2014 holiday season.