LCD TVs, plasma screens and digital cameras top consumer shopping lists

Australians shell out $2.6b on TVs, digital cameras and games consoles in first half of 2009

Australian consumers have bucked the global trend towards economic downturn, buying more gadgets and digital products in the first half of 2009 than the corresponding period in any previous year.

According to a GfK Consumer Digital Lifestyle Index (CDLI) report released by Canon today, the first half of 2009 saw a record high of 5.91 million digital lifestyle products sold. The sales of digital still cameras, digital camcorders, inkjet printers, photo printers, plasma TVs, LCD TVs, DVD players and recorders, digital media players and games consoles — which made up the pool of digital lifestyle products measured — bucked the forecast of a downturn from 2008 sales figures. In comparison, the first six months of 2008 saw total digital technology unit sales hit just over 5.41 million units.

On the back of the global financial crisis at the end of last year, demand was expected to lessen — yet the first half of 2009 saw an 8.4 percent rise in digital product sales. This equates to a total outlay by Australian consumers of almost $2.6 billion. In comparison, overall retail sales were estimated to rise by only 1.1 percent according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Business Indicators Report for the same period.

Market revenues for the technology product categories surveyed by the Canon CDLI grew by 7.2 percent. LCD and plasma televisions led consumer spending, representing 38.9 percent and 16.3 percent of all spending respectively. Digital still cameras (11.6 percent), gaming consoles (11.2 percent) and portable digital media players (8.6 percent) were also popular amongst buyers.

Craig Jackson, Sony Australia’s Senior Product Specialist for Audio Visual, says the company has seen strong demand for its BRAVIA LCD televisions.

“We’ve seen that the ZX1 series especially has been quite popular.”

Sony also believes that in the short to medium term, LCD television sales will only increase as lower prices make the push towards a digital lifestyle more enticing. General price reductions on technology products are expected to continue throughout 2009, with overall prices falling 1.1 percent in the half-year period covered by this index according to the GfK report.

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