Guess what kiddos? That recession that harshed your mellow all last year is officially over and done with... according to the Consumer Electronics Association, anyway. Based on a new report put out today by the CEA (you know, that organization that sets up CES each year?), the average US household spent $1,380 on consumer electronics over the past dozen months, which represents an increase of $151 from last year. The report also found that the average household spent 12 percent more on CE devices over the past year, and individual consumer spending shot up 10 percent year-over-year. Other tidbits included: ladies spent more on CE wares than the did last year (but still trail the guys overall), and the average home reported owning 25 consumer electronic products, up from 23 in 2009. We're also told that 86 percent of all US households own at least one computer, making it the third most owned CE product behind TVs and DVD players. Oh, and as for those pesky netbooks? 12 percent of US households own one of those, while 58 percent own "laptops" of some sort. Head on past the break for the full skinny -- we hope you're in the mood for good news, 'cause that's all you're getting.

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Americans Spending More on Consumer Electronics, New CEA Study Finds

Consumer Spending is Up 10 Percent From Last Year

ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The average U.S. household spent $1,380 on consumer electronics (CE) products in the past 12 months, an increase of $151 from last year, according to a new study released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The average household spent 12 percent more on CE devices in the past year, according to the 12th Annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study, which also shows that individual consumer spending is up 10 percent from the previous 12 month period.

"A drop in price, widespread availability of HD content and successful completion of the digital television transition last year have all led to an increased ownership rate for HDTVs"

The average adult spent $794 on CE in the past 12 months, up from $725 in 2009. Women spent more on CE products than they did the year before but still trail men in overall spending. Women spent, on average, $631 on consumer electronics, up $73 from 2009. Men report personally spending $969 in the past 12 months, up $67 from the year before. The average household reports owning 25 CE products, up from 23 products last year.

"Consumer electronics continues to be a bright spot as spending increased despite a tough year for the overall economy," said Brian Markwalter, CEA's vice president of research and standards. "As consumer confidence climbs, along with the desire to own the latest technologies, consumers will continue to view CE products as necessities in their lives."

CEA's study also shows that video products continue to be the top CE device consumers own, with HDTV ownership continuing to increase. Sixty-five percent of U.S. homes now own at least one HDTV, an increase of 13 percentage points from last year, making it the top industry growth driver of the past 12 months. Consumers also are buying HDTVs as secondary sets. The average household now owns 1.8 HDTVs, up from 1.5 in 2009. HDTVs are also the top product consumers say they want to purchase. Nearly one in four households (23 percent) plan to buy a new high-definition set in the coming 12 months.

Ownership of computers also continues to increase. Currently, 86 percent of U.S. households own at least one computer, making it the third most owned CE product category behind televisions and DVD players. The popularity of netbooks, owned by 12 percent of U.S. households, and laptops, now owned by most households (58 percent), is helping drive the computer category.

"A drop in price, widespread availability of HD content and successful completion of the digital television transition last year have all led to an increased ownership rate for HDTVs," said Markwalter. "Lower prices, along with increased mobility and a variety of sizing options, are helping to drive more consumers to own computers as well."

The 12th Annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study (May 2010) was conducted between January 28 and February 1, 2010. It was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies at members.CE.org. Non-members may purchase the study for $999 at myCEA.CE.org.

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $165 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA's industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org.