For the first time since the mid-1990s, the European market for consumer electronics is likely to contract this year by around 9% and reach a total turnover value of €62bn. This is according to international market research institute EITO.
"The reason for the fall has less to do with reduced consumer spending as a result of the economic crisis," said EITO chairman Bruno Lamborghini. "The switch to digital in consumer electronics has led to strong growth rates in recent years but is now reaching saturation. In addition, there are no major sporting events this year like the European Football Championship and the Olympic Games in 2008."
The contraction of the overall market is to be explained in particular by the decline in turnover for flat screen televisions. As per the EITO report, turnover is also declining for digital cameras, MP3 players and navigation devices. There is, however, an increase in turnover for Blu-ray players, digital set-top boxes for TV reception, and games consoles.
A big growth impulse is expected from home-networking (ie. connecting different devices, such as computers, televisions, digital cameras, MP3 players and hi-fi equipment, with each other and to the Internet).
The EITO has published a report on the market in consumer electronics with current data for the CE markets in Europe, which can be obtained from www.eito.com.