Consumer spending growth – at what cost?

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The economic indicators implying that the economy is rapidly rising out of recession are misleading, warns Anthony Norman, GfK business group director.

Factors such as the stock markets rises from the record lows and growing sales in some technology sectors are not necessary signs of growth in the technology markets.

“In July 2009, it’s evident that retailers were successful in shifting volume of products, with laptops growing by 15% versus July 2008 and flat screen televisions achieving a growth of 12%, but key to this is the fact that prices continue to fall. Clearly this is positive for the consumer and the retailers will continue to use promotional activity to drive their customers back into store, but this continual price cutting means that the overall value of many markets is in decline, despite actually selling more of the product.

“This poses a challenge for the technology markets, and one whereby manufacturers and retailers alike need to ensure they find a way of creating additional value within their products and service offering.”

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