Consumer electronics sales are booming in western Europe as consumers buy more high-ticket products, and the UK is leading the charge, according to a new report on consumer spending.
Research released today by industry watchers GfK found that western Europeans spent 18 per cent more on consumer electronics in the first half of 2006 than in the same period in 2005.
The sector is benefiting from consumers investing more money in expensive and higher value products. GfK is predicting that Europeans will have spent €44bn on consumer electronics by the end of the year.
In western Europe, 61 per cent of total sales in the industry during the first half of 2006 were generated in the UK, Germany and France. The greatest proportion, 25 per cent, was attributable to the UK.
This was followed by the German market with a share of 19 per cent and France with 17 per cent. The remainder is spread across seven other western European countries in which GfK collects data.
Sweden tops the growth charts with sales up 23 per cent compared to the first half of 2005. Sales were up year-on-year by 20 per cent in France and 18 per cent in the UK.
TVs are the strongest growth driver in consumer electronics and sales are up 35 per cent on the first half of 2005. One of the reasons for this was the football World Cup, according to the report.
The main reason, however, is consumers increasingly turning away from traditional CRT sets and switching to flat-screen LCD or plasma models.
Sales of LCD TVs were up 125 per cent. TVs with 32in screens and over were particularly popular, with one in three consumers buying a set of this size.
Although the prices of sets are falling, each buyer this year has spent an average of €676 per TV, 25 per cent higher than in the previous year, reflecting the trend towards higher value products.
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