U.S. Consumer Tech Retail Sales Up For Second Consecutive Month - InformationWeek

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U.S. Consumer Tech Retail Sales Up For Second Consecutive Month

Retail sales increased 3% over the same month a year ago to $6.6 billion, the NPD Group said. In May, sales at retail stores rose 7% to $5.4 billion.

Despite a toughening economy, U.S. consumer technology retail sales were up in June for the second consecutive month, driven mostly by flat-panel TVs and PCs, a market research firm said Tuesday.

Retail sales increased 3% over the same month a year ago to $6.6 billion, the NPD Group said. In May, sales at retail stores rose 7% to $5.4 billion.

Sales of PCs and flat-panel TVs saw double-digit growth in terms of units and dollars in June, the research firm said. Each of the product categories brought in more than $1 billion in the month.

"The consumer technology industry, as it always has, is marching to the beat of a different economic drummer," Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis for NPD, said in a statement. "Two months of solid growth in troubling economic times is great news for the electronics industry."

With many products costing $800 or more, consumers are not buying impulsively, but are making purchases following careful consideration, NPD said. However, the firm warned against reading too much into the good news. NPD pointed out that the government tax rebates sent earlier in the year stimulated sales.

"Temporary success should not obscure the need to deliver more exciting, compelling products as we head into the back half of the year, where a majority of the consumer technology sales occur," Baker said.

NPD reported last month that May saw the first increase this year in U.S. retail sales of consumer technology. The growth was driven primarily from the six top revenue-producing categories, which accounted for 49% of sales. Those categories included notebook computers, LCD TVs, digital point-and-shoot cameras, portable digital players, ink-jet cartridges, and desktop computers.

NPD's numbers are for sales in U.S. retail stores only. They do not include online sales.

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