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Indians big spenders on electronic goods for second consecutive year

Industry executives are taking consumer spending post Covid-19 outbreak as a sign of recovery. India’s overall consumer electronics and appliances market from smartphones to washing machines to wearable accessories grew 9% in calendar 2021 against pre-pandemic 2019.

“The growth is driven by consumers increasingly opting for premium products despite the overall inflationary environment, price increase in all categories, and work from home due to restrictions for almost two quarters last year,” industry executives said.

All categories including television posted robust growth over 2020, as per data from market intelligence firm GfK India.

Computer sales in 2021 grew a whopping 87% from 2019 levels and smartphone sales grew by 8%.

GfK tracks actual sales from retail stores and online platforms.

Nikhil Mathur, managing director, India at GfK, said, “The value growth for consumer technology products was largely driven by IT and home appliances, which can be attributed to the surge in online channels sales, premiumisation trend across categories, lower tier cities growth, and at-home norm.”

Air conditioner (8%), washing machine (13%), microwave oven (22%) grew in 2021 over 2019 while smartphones still remained impacted by the pandemic, supply disruptions and chip shortages.

A senior executive with a leading electronics firm said, “There were major supply issues of television and smartphones last year as well due to shortages of display panel and semiconductor chips, which impacted their recovery.”

“The industry expects widespread recovery in 2022,” Deepak Bansal, vice-president, home appliances and AC business, at LG Electronics, said, “Market sentiments will become better this year with Covid-19 cases coming down, easing of restrictions, and pickup in sales during summer which was lost in the last two years due to Covid-19 waves.”

Average selling price (ASP) – an indicator of premiumisation – across most product categories grew at double digits in 2021 over 2019. For instance, smartphone ASP is up by 22% against 2019 levels, television by 15%, and microwave oven and refrigerator by 11%.

This trend will continue this year, too, as per GfK. “Across categories we have seen a growth in ASP, driven by both increases in input costs due to shipping and chip shortages, and a shift towards premium products like front-loading washing machines, 351-plus-litre refrigerator, ultra HD TV, and smartphones priced above ₹30,000,” Mathur said. Fast Times

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