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Despite Election Concerns, Consumer Sentiment Improves in October, Shows CTA Indexes

Arlington, VA – October 25, 2016 – 

Consumer confidence toward tech spending and the overall economy both increased in October, despite concerns over the forthcoming election, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ Indexes.
Technology Spending
The CTA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, increased by 0.9 points in October to reach 86.7.
“While overall consumer expectations have improved in the last month, the presidential election is dominating consumer attention right now,” said Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D., chief economist, CTA. “While we saw a slew of new tech product launches earlier this month, we still remain a month outside of the core holiday shopping season. Only now are retailers beginning to announce some plans, but expect to see an influx of holiday promotions after the presidential election.”
CTA projects tech spending during the 2016 holiday shopping season to increase 3.1 percent over last year – driven mostly by an increase in online and mobile spending. The forecast also shows overall retail sales in November and December, excluding gasoline and restaurant sales, are expected to increase to $824.8 billion, marking a strong 3.8 percent increase year-over-year.
Overall Economy
The CTA Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) measures consumer sentiment about the U.S. economy as a whole and increased by 2.3 points in October to reach 174.2.
“Economic data has been relatively muted as of late,” said DuBravac. “The most recent report on retail sales suggests some pick-up in shopper activity, following two slow months. Housing starts and existing home sales have both been modest and shown little net growth over the last year.”
The CTA Indexes are updated on a monthly basis through consumer surveys. New data is released on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Find current and past indexes, charts and methodology on CTA Indexes.