Consumer electronics spending is projected to edge up 2.6 percent this holiday season, compared with 4 percent growth in 2012, according to a report from the Consumer Electronics Association.
Tablets will top wish lists this year for adults and video gaming consoles for teens, the report stated. Additionally, 74 percent of respondents who are planning to purchase gifts this holiday season intend to buy consumer electronics products as gifts, allocating a third of their overall holiday gift budgets to these types of offerings.
However, the amount consumers report they actually plan to spend will reach an average of $1,431, a 12 percent decrease from 2012, even though the study found 68 percent of consumers indicated they would spend the same or more this holiday season compared with last year.
Consumers who plan to spend less this year most commonly cite concerns about the economy (68 percent), already having what they need or want (67 percent) and not having the money to spend on gifts (66 percent).
"Negative economic sentiment and slipping momentum have consumers cautious about overall spending this holiday, but recent agreements, albeit temporary, should improve consumer confidence toward spending for the duration of the year," Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and senior director of research with the Consumer Electronics Association, said in a statement. "Moreover, holiday tech spending will remain somewhat impervious with recent and forthcoming product announcements to buoy excitement within the tech categories driving growth this holiday season."
Headphones and earbuds (40 percent) will be the most popular consumer electronics device given this holiday season, while cases for electronic devices (27 percent) will also be popular this year, followed by tablets (26 percent), smartphones (24 percent) and notebook computers (23 percent).
Of the 19 percent of U.S. adults expected to purchase a video game console, the majority report planning to buy a next-generation console system (73 percent), compared with current models already on the market (59 percent).
"Mobile connected devices are driving overall tech industry growth, and holiday gift sales will be no different," DuBravac stated. "Expect to also see growing awareness of emerging tech categories, including health and fitness technology. These are the products quickly moving into the mainstream in the coming years."
In addition to making popular gifts, mobile devices are also changing the way consumers make their purchases. This year, 87 percent of U.S. adults indicated they were likely to use a mobile device to help them shop for CE this holiday season.
The most common mobile shopping activities consumers will engage in is looking up retailer information (66 percent), comparing prices (62 percent) and getting information about products before store visits (62 percent), the report found.