Flat screen TVs lead rise in consumer purchases

3rd July 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 3, 2007 (AFP) - Flat-screen televisions sold like hot cakes in France last year but shoppers shunned new cars as overall household consumption grew by 2.1 percent, the national statistics institute INSEE said Tuesday.

PARIS, July 3, 2007 (AFP) - Flat-screen televisions sold like hot cakes in France last year but shoppers shunned new cars as overall household consumption grew by 2.1 percent, the national statistics institute INSEE said Tuesday.

The increase, slightly less than the 2005 figure of 2.2 percent, was helped by a gain in buying power, which expanded by 2.3 percent, INSEE said.

At the same time, the French managed to put a bit more of their income aside and the household savings rate edged up to 15.5 percent.

INSEE underscored the performance of goods and services connected with information and communications technologies, which posted an increase of 15.8 percent and represented one third of all spending by volume.

Sales of equipment used to receive, reproduce and record sound and images leapt by 27.4 percent in 2006, extending a jump the previous year of 21.1 percent.

INSEE pointed in particular to the "growing replacement of tube televisions with flat screens, notably during the football World Cup" in Germany.

Meanwhile, new car sales fell by 4.2 percent and overall auto sales were down by 2.5 percent, in part owing to high petrol prices.

Other items that flopped last year included DVDs, which showed a decrease for the first time, and audio CDs which fell back by a further 10.4 percent.

Sales of books, newspapers and magazines also declined.

Leading items among the increases were airline tickets, up by 7.5 percent, games and toys (6.8 percent), and health goods and services (3.9 percent).


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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