The Consumer Technology Association forcasts a 4% to 12% decline in laptop sales this year compared to last year. | ECLIPSE PRODUCTION/Shutterstock

An economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus will translate to lower sales of new electronics this year, according to an industry group.

“Unemployment and downward pressure on consumer spending caused by this pandemic will bring significant headwinds to the tech industry outlook this year,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), stated in a press release.

The CTA forecasts the following this year:

  • Smartphones: 6% to 15% decline in sales compared with 2019.
  • TVs: 8% to 14% decline.
  • Laptops: 4% to 12% decline.

Device sales are an indicator of when older technologies will enter the reuse and end-of-life streams.

The industry group noted the pandemic is providing a near-term uptick in demand for TVs, because households are looking for more screens to use for in-home videos and businesses are looking to boost their video conference capabilities. The group expects to see a 29% to 35% increase in spending on video streaming services year over year.

The CTA isn’t the only group tracking lower sales. Market research firm Gartner recently released data showing a 12.3% decline in shipments of new PCs during the first quarter of 2020, compared with the first quarter of 2019. International Data Corporation (IDC) also expects reduced IT spending in 2020 because of the pandemic.

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Van Dyk