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CEA: Consumer confidence down again

ARLINGTON, Va. — Consumer confidence in the overall economy and sentiment toward technology both fell again in February, according to the latest figures released by the Consumer Electronics Association.

The CEA Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE), which measures consumer expectations about the broader economy, fell 2.7 points in February to 165.3. Consumer confidence in the overall economy declined for the second consecutive month.

“Consumer sentiment slipped again in February for both the overall economy as well as consumers’ appetite to purchase tech – though some of the latter drop is likely related to seasonal factors as well,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and senior director of research. “Despite wealth gains from national real estate values rising and equity prices continuing to climb, consumers remain subdued.”

The CEA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, fell 5.6 points in February to 77.4.

“The two percent payroll tax increase that went into effect at the beginning of the year is likely starting to have an impact on consumer purchasing decisions,” said DuBravac. “Moreover, consumers remain concerned about U.S. fiscal policy as they attempt to internalize the potential impact from the impeding federal budget sequestration.”