Tag Archives: Consumer Electronics Association

NABE Survey Says Economy Slow, Housing Market Up and Fiscal Cliff Avoided

Shawn DuBravac, Chief Economist for the Consumer Electronics Association

There is good and bad economic news. The bad news first: economists are now predicting dawdling growth during 2013, with an upswing in the unemployment rate back to over 8 percent for at least the first half of the year.

Yes, there is some good news to assuage the bad: the recovery of the housing industry is heading upwards more quickly than expected and there is a very high likelihood that the economy is not about to fall over a “fiscal cliff.”

The good and the bad and the ugly news was derived from the quarterly survey of the National Association for Business Economists. The poll questioned 44 economists about how they see the economic future of the country.

NABE is an organization composed of business economists and other professionals who use economics in the workplace.

The survey was conducted during the 12 days between September 14 and 26. The best news issuing from the survey concerns the expectation that new housing starts for single-family homes will rise by 23 percent, totaling 750,000 new units for 2012, and a continuing rise in 2013 of about 13 percent, for a total number of units of 850,000.

Home prices are also expected to rise by 1.5 percent in 2012, and 2.8 percent in 2012. This is a higher estimate then the economists gave back in the May survey.

It also seems we are not heading for a fall of a “fiscal cliff.” Despite concerns of the budget deficit and national debt and what the combined $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and tax increases will do to the economy, most economists seem to believe that a giant fiscal explosion will not take place.

‘‘The panelists’ projections for the fiscal cliff are very diverse, though survey respondents in general do not expect the potentially large negative outcomes of the fiscal cliff to materialize,’’ said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Electronics Association, who analyzed the results for the NABE.

‘Tis the Season – for Holiday Electronics Shopping

With Halloween in the past and Thanksgiving on the way, can the season of gift-shopping be far behind?

In fact, that shopping-for-gifts season has arrived even earlier this year, after retailers began offering discounts weeks before earlier than usual. Discounts on merchandise usually begin on the now-traditional Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving. However, worry about maintaining shopping levels in the wake of the still depressed economy induced retailers to begin their sales weeks in advance.

Shoppers responded to these early discounts by beginning their shopping early, and, according to a new survey conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association, what they are shopping for in increasing numbers are electronic gifts. Consumer plan to spend more on electronics this holiday season than they have during any of the past seventeen years, and laptops and Apple iPads and iPods are the number one gift items for the year, the poll showed. Nearly 3 out of 4 American adults are planning electronic gifts this year, an increase from 67% last year. This increase is despite the approximately 2% fall in overall gift spending that is expected during this year’s holiday season.

In the wake of the early-season discounts, the Consumer Electronics Association trade group increased its projections for fourth-quarter electronics sales and is now predicting shipments of 10.74 million TVs, 14.32 million digital cameras, 18.24 million video game units and 12.88 million MP3 players during the fourth quarter of 2010.