Flat growth seen for US consumer electronics market

Growth in the overall consumer electronics market in volume terms in the United States (US) is expected to be mostly flat in the next five years, but there is hope for a positive future on the back of wireless technology.

“5G technology is being rolled out slowly in major cities and its increased connectivity speeds may well redefine several categories in consumer electronics,” said the Euromonitor Digest, the online publication of the Export Management Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The report said there is “always the possibility” of innovation that could spur growth until 2024 given the nature of the consumer electronics industry.

It identified market maturity and trade headwinds which could lead to flat forecast period growth.

“There will be significant challenges in the future for the computers and peripherals and in-car entertainment categories. The continued levelling out of the smartphone category will also be a headwind to growth for the entire market,” it added.

The Euromonitor Digest also cited the escalating trade conflict between the US and China, and the added uncertainty regarding tariffs which is “detrimental to an industry with such a high percentage of international manufacturers.”

In 2019, the US consumer electronics industry recorded positive volume sales growth driven by expansion in the portable consumer electronics category.

The report said consumer preferences continued to shift towards smarter and more multifunctional products, with smartphones once again dampening demand for products like digital cameras and camcorders.

“Manufacturers in all categories made technological improvements and increased the capabilities of their devices, hoping to capture the attention of consumers looking for higher-quality audio and imaging as well as more mobile capabilities,” it added.

It further said the impact of the US-China trade war was not substantially felt by US consumers, with the average unit prices remained stable and innovative product launches kept consumers highly interested in industry developments.

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