So far this year, Australians have spent $13.8 billion on technical consumer goods – an 8.4% growth on 2008.
Contributing to this growth is research which shows that the global economy showed signs of improvement, local consumer sentiment continued to increase reaching its highest level in almost 2 years. House prices moved into positive growth, while petrol prices remained flat, and unemployment fell slightly, to 5.7% in September.
Despite these positive economic indicators, growth of most consumer electronic and household items was flat at 1-2% in the third quarter. In contrast, there was no let-up in spend on IT goods, with the sector experiencing a 20.8% quarter on quarter growth, largely driven by spend on notebooks. The growth in IT hardware also had a knock-on effect on consumables, which experienced an overall growth of 8.4%, driven by the growth of cartridges (18.6%).
GFK claim that despite growth rates of 27% and 39% for quarter 1 and 2 respectively for notebooks, the category is by no means saturated.
They claim that mass market retailers experienced “impressive growth” of nearly 22% in quarter 3. July growth was particularly strong they claim, with the continuation of End of Financial Year sales, and average prices remaining steady, due to demand for high end notebooks.
With personal computers in the home on the rise, and the increased use of computers to store digital music, photo, and movies; external hard disk drives experienced impressive growth in spend of over 45% for the quarter. At an average price of just $A177, one terabyte models proved particularly popular.