A consumer electronics industry group predicted Monday that consumers will buy more gadgets in 2008, despite fears of a recession.
At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Association trade group forecast industry revenue would grow 6.1 percent over 2007 to $171 billion — despite rising energy costs, a slumping housing market and the subprime lending meltdown.
The organization also estimated shipments were $161 billion in 2007, up 8.2 percent from the year before.
The CEA noted that although it is projecting 2008 growth lower than in 2007, the prediction is closer to the industry's historic average and higher than what's foreseen in other industries such as housing and vehicles.
Television displays are to make up the largest portion of projected sales at 16 percent. Shipments of TVs will grow 13 percent to more than $29 billion, the CEA forecast.
The CEA also predicted shipments of next-generation DVD players will grow 173 percent to 2.8 million units as consumers upgrade their home theater systems. The organization noted that more than half of U.S. households now have digital televisions.
It also projected growth in video game consoles from estimated 2007 shipments of $6.6 billion, up 50 percent from 2006. And it expects sales of navigation and mobile video devices to nearly double to more than $3.1 billion in 2008.
In contrast, the International Monetary Fund projected in December that the U.S. economy would grow only 1.9 percent in 2007 and 2008, its slowest rate in six years.