It is only one data point out of many, but the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) Index of Consumer Expectations declined in May. The decline was 2.4 points from April to 173.7; however, May’s ICE remains higher year-over-year, as it has since May of 2009.
“There is mounting apprehension around the economy,” said Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D., chief economist, CEA and author of the New York Times best-seller Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live, and Communicate. “The decline in sentiment toward the overall economy is likely due to consumers starting to internalize some of those concerns.”
The CEA represents, among other constituencies, manufacturers of consumer electronics; its consumer data is gleaned largely from the U.S. According to several market research firms, worldwide spending on tablets and smartphones has recently declined due in part to market saturation. International Data Corp.’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, this month reported smartphone shipments are expected to grow 11.3% in 2015, which is down from 27.6% in 2014. This is on par with IDC's previous smartphone forecast of 11.8% growth in 2015. While overall smartphone growth will continue to slow, many markets will experience robust growth in 2015 and beyond, and worldwide shipment volumes are forecast to reach 1.9 billion units annually by 2019.
IDC projects this to be the first year in which China's smartphone growth, forecast to be 2.5% in 2015, will be slower than the worldwide market. Second and somewhat related to the China forecast, Android smartphone growth is also expected to be slower than the worldwide market at 8.5% in 2015. IDC believes both trends will persist throughout the forecast period, which now goes to 2019.
The CEA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), which measures consumer expectations about technology spending also decreased in May, slipping 2.1 points to 86.6. “The rising economic concerns consumers are experiencing has spilled into tech spending in May,” said Dr. DuBravac.
The CEA Indexes are updated on a monthly basis through consumer surveys. New data is released on the fourth Tuesday of each month. To find current and past indexes, charts, methodology and future release dates, log on to CEAindexes.org.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $286 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. Find CEA online at CE.org, InnovationMovement.com and through social.