CEA lowers expectations for electronics revenue

Fourth-quarter revenue will essentially be the same as the previous year, says industry group. It previously predicted revenue would grow 3.7 percent.

The Consumer Electronics Association says the money made from electronics shipments in the fourth quarter of this year will be basically on par as the same quarter a year ago.

That's not good news for gadget makers. For the fourth quarter of this year, the revenue from products shipped will increase by a negligible 0.1 percent over the same quarter in 2007, according to the CEA's revised forecast. The industry group had previously predicted electronics shipment revenue would grow 3.7 percent for the quarter.

Unsurprisingly, the economy is being blamed for the stagnating growth.

"Although CEA certainly took price declines and weakness in consumer demand into consideration, the severity and the speed of declines in these unprecedented times caught everyone off guard," Jason Oxman, CEA's senior vice president of industry affairs, said in a statement. "Consumer sentiment is improving, but shopper unease this holiday season is creating challenges for all sectors of the economy, including consumer electronics."

Falling TV prices have hurt revenue, as has the increased interest in lower-priced laptops and Netbooks, according to the CEA. Cell phones should also be hit particularly hard during the final quarter of the year, when growth is now estimated to be just 5 percent, down from the previously expected 11 percent.

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