Surveys: Consumer outlook for economy, tech spending rise

Consumer surveys show slight increase in confidence about overall economy in the U.S. and that people plan on spending more on technology in the coming 12 months.

U.S. consumers are feeling more confident about the economy than they were last month and continue to plan to spend more on technology in the coming 12 months, according to two surveys conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association and CNET and released on Tuesday.

Both the CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE), which measures consumer expectations about the broader economy, and the CEA-CNET Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), which gauges consumer expectations about technology spending, showed rises for the month of August.

The ICE hit 165.5 points in August, in a range of 100 to 300 points, a rise of more than 3 points from its record low in July and the highest point it has reached since March. However, the index remains 9 points below the level reported a year ago.

"While still depressed on a year-over-year basis, consumers are showing some signs of confidence as the summer closes," the report said. Although mean expectations that the economy will be better off in the next 12 months than it is today increased only marginally from last month, there was more confidence related to the job market and personal financial health.

The ICTE reached 84.4 points in August, in a range of 0 to 200 points, up nearly 4 points from July, marking the third consecutive month it has risen and the highest level it has reached since February. The August level is also the first year-over-year increase since the data began getting tracked by CEA and CNET in January 2007.

Mean expectations consumers had for spending more on consumer technology was at the highest level in five months, the report said.

The survey data, which is published monthly on the fourth Tuesday of every month, are collected by calling 1,000 respondents who are randomly selected. The data are weighted to be representative of the U.S. population.

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