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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/31/2013 -- Consumer electronics spending growth was constrained by a challenging economic environment in 2012, and although conditions have improved slightly in 2013, we expect growth to remain muted. However, growth will accelerate as economic conditions improve from 2014. Even with these challenges, we expect growth to remain positive across all three segments of the market, with spending driven by several underlying trends. Consumer electronics retail sales drivers include growing affordability of digital products as price competition from East Asian vendors intensifies, retail channel expansion, digital TV conversion, as well as 3G and 4G wireless data network infrastructure investments. Demand for consumer lifestyle products such as smartphones, tablets, Smart TV sets and Wi-Fi enabled digital cameras will be the areas of fastest growth.
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Headline Expenditure Projections
Computer Hardware Sales: US$824mn in 2012 to US$867mn in 2013; +5.2% in US dollar terms. Weak economic conditions are limiting big-ticket purchases, while the shift in the composition of sales to cheaper tablets is an additional squeeze on the growth of sales value.
AV Sales: US$256mn in 2012 to US$266mn in 2013; +3.8% in US dollar terms. The UEFA Euro-2012 tournament and the London Olympics provided a boost to demand for flat-screen TV sets last year.
Handset Sales: US$228mn in 2012 to US$247mn in 2013; +8.2% in US dollar terms. The handset market is expected to fare better in a challenging macro environment due to lower average selling prices and the support provided by operator smartphone sales as they look to generate value from their wireless data network investments.
Croatia's score was 33.7 out of 100.0. Croatia took eighth place in our latest CE RRR table, behind established EU markets such as the Czech Republic and Hungary, as well as Serbia.
Key Trends & Developments
Although household PC penetration remained 10pps below the EU-27 average at 68% in 2012 sales growth in 2013 is muted due to the challenging economic environment. Vendors have helped to keep growth in positive territory amid fierce competition, by offering aggressive promotions and new products although this has resulted in pressure on margins. The availability of low-cost OEM tablets, primarily from China, has hit sales of more expensive notebooks, squeezing growth in the value of the market.
Digital TV availability and programming should continue to expand in Croatia and should remain a driver of TV set upgrades. While around 98% of Croatia's 1.7mn households have TV sets, there is a trend for multiple sets. Sales of LCD and plasma sets have increased as prices have fallen over the last few years. 3D sets and 'smart' TV sets are growth areas, with interactive and social media elements being incorporated in Croatian TV programming.
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