NEW YORK, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Consumers will spend more this holiday on electronics than they have in each of the past 17 years, with laptops and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad topping wish lists, a leading industry trade group said on Tuesday.
The average consumer will spend $232 on electronics gifts from TVs and MP3 players to cameras this year, up 5 percent from last year, according to a holiday phone survey of 1,003 U.S. adults conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association.
While average holiday gift spending will fall 2 percent to $750 from $764, more of that spending will go toward electronics.
"Consumers are spending more on electronics this holiday … both as a raw amount and as a percentage of overall gift spending," said Jason Oxman, vice president of the Consumer Electronics Association.
The trade group increased its fourth-quarter sales projections for flat panel TVs, digital cameras and MP3 players after retailers began their "Black Friday" discounts weeks early.
In the fourth quarter, companies will ship 10.74 million TVs, 14.32 million digital cameras and 12.88 million MP3 players, it estimated.
The group, which organizes January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, projects 18.24 million unit shipments of video game hardware in the period.
The top item on holiday wish lists was notebook or laptop PCs, followed by Apple’s iPad, eReaders, iPods and video game systems, the survey said. .
About 73 percent of U.S. adults plan to give consumer electronics as gifts this year, up from 67 percent last year.
And roughly 60 percent of consumers will buy their electronics at stores like Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), while about 46 percent of consumers will buy online.
On Tuesday afternoon, shares of electronics chain Hhgregg Inc (NYSE:HGG) were down 6.5 percent at $23.06 after the company missed quarterly profit and sales expectations and said that bargain-hungry shoppers will wait for prices for newer products like Internet televisions and 3D TVs to fall over the holiday. (Reporting by Liana B. Baker, editing by Matthew Lewis)