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Consumers plan to spend more on consumer electronics (CE) this holiday season, as technology garners a larger share of holiday gift budgets, according to new research released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

“Pent up demand for technology products is evident in consumers’ gift wish lists and holiday CE purchase plans. Some 20% of consumers say they plan to spend more on gifts compared to last year, with electronics leading the way,” said Steve Koenig, CEA’s director of industry analysis.

Underscoring consumers’ love of technology, four out of five adults (80%) plan on buying CE products this holiday, the highest results in the 16 years of the survey. Overall gift spending this holiday will increase 4% over last year despite a drop in overall holiday spending. Spending on CE will also increase over last year. Consumers plan to spend an average of $222 on consumer electronics this holiday, a gain of 8% over last year. Half of consumers (48%) also plan to buy a CE product for themselves this holiday.

Consumer electronics comprise four of the top 10 items on adults’ holiday gift wish list, with computers and video games ranking two and three respectively behind clothes. Televisions and digital cameras also made the list. Several emerging technologies, such as Blu-ray players, e-book readers and netbooks, are among the most wanted and hottest gifts this season. These products are in adults’ top ten CE wish list for the first time, joining mainstays such as notebooks, portable MP3 players and flat-panel TVs. Netbooks are another hot category, especially among teens, ranking in the top ten CE gift wish list of that age group for the first time. Portable MP3 players, video game consoles, and digital cameras are among the most popular gifts consumers are planning on giving their friends and family this year.

Retail stores will play a leading role in holiday CE shopping this year, with 66% of consumers likely or very likely to look at electronics in a store, even if they don’t plan to buy. Two-thirds (67%) plan to purchase their CE gifts at a mass merchant while 60% plan on going to an electronics store. For guides on how to purchase the right consumer electronics device for everyone on your gift list, visit www.DigitalTips.org, CEA’s consumer website offering guides, tips and advice for consumers.

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