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More from Economist Jon

October 17th, 2008

Jon had some more to say about the economy:

Now The Times has weighed in. You have to read these articles carefully since these people generally have no idea what they’re talking about, but there are a few noteworthy things.

First, HDTV is a category that is up, no doubt reflecting the dramatic improvement that HD provides. Second, we see substitution effects, though not the type I predicted last week. Thank God it’s only an anecdote. Otherwise, I might have been wrong.

Mr. Giacomo recently bought a 52-inch flat-screen TV, and he had been hoping to add a $2,000 surround-sound unit to complete his home theater. But after watching his stocks nose-dive last week, he is curbing unnecessary spending. “The surround sound is going to have to wait, at least until next spring,” he said.

His consolation purchase instead: a $39 DVD boxed set of the 1970s television show “Mission Impossible.”

Third, we have a prediction more or less in line with mine, but with a guy who’s clearly got a lot of self-interest.

Still, for all the gloom, the outlook for electronics is better than for retail sales as a whole, according to analysts.

Jason Oxman, vice president for industry affairs for the Consumer Electronics Association, said the trade group was projecting that sales of televisions and audio equipment would be 4.7 percent higher this holiday than a year ago, while video game hardware sales will be up 3.5 percent.

Finally, my man, Mr. Chukumba:

Mr. Chukumba said some consumers would respond to the economic downturn by buying electronics instead of going out to dinner or a sporting event. “There’s a nesting phenomenon going on,” he said. But the concern for retailers is that customers will nest with the products they already have.

Look forward to more of Jon’s input as he sees fit to share. Thanks again Jon.

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