CNET, CEA back Consumer Sentiment Indexes

Consumer tech spending doesn't always jibe with the overall economic outlook. The indexes measure general consumer confidence, plus tech and electronics industry expectations.

CNET, which publishes CNET News, announced on Tuesday its partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association on the new CEA-CNET Consumer Sentiment Indexes. It's intended to be an economic index for researchers, academics, the media, and the tech industry to use as an indicator of economic climate and outlook.

The Consumer Sentiment Indexes measure general consumer confidence, plus industry expectations.
The Consumer Sentiment Indexes measure general consumer confidence, plus industry expectations. CEA and CNET

Consumer confidence in the tech industry doesn't always go hand in hand with standard economic bellwethers. Difficult economic circumstances certainly haven't tempered the world's appetite for shiny new toys, if Apple's iPhone 3G is any indicator .

After 18 months of research, the Consumer Sentiment Indexes' numbers for July have been released, along with the announcement of the index itself. Each edition of the indexes consists of two figures: as the Index of Consumer Expectations, or ICE, handles general consumer confidence, the Index of Consumer Technology Expectations, or ICTE, is specific to the tech and electronics industries. In July 2008, for example, ICE was measured at 165.5, almost 2.5 points lower than the previous month. The ICTE, on the other hand, was 81.7, about the same as June 2008.

The Consumer Electronics Association is the trade group responsible for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a massive exposition held each January in Las Vegas.

August's CEA-CNET index figures are set to be released on the 26th of the month, and rollouts of future editions are scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.


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