Black Friday has arrived in the US and many retailers are hoping fears of prolonged economic difficulties will not hamper consumers’ appetite for spending – not least for HDTVs.

Paul Gray, Display Search’s director of European TV research, has added some intriguing analysis to the various predictions about how robust consumer demand is likely to be in key markets in the coming months.

He examined the correlation between the TV penetration and savings and reckons there is some kind of a link.

Based on his results, the US and UK markets are the most vulnerable whereas Italy and Germany appear well placed to ride out a recession.

Describing himself as "stunned" by the findings he said the correlations appeared almost too good to be true.

"But it does perhaps give a peek into where demand can be expected to be most robust," he said.

"Clearly Germany and Italy have few sets. If the set fails, the choice is to replace it or read a book instead."

Gray said that by comparison, the US and UK had enjoyed an Anglo-Saxon credit binge and much of the market is supported by second sets.

"When times get tough, these will not be replaced, or the impulsive demand for another set will easily be extinguished by tight household budgets," he said.

"These markets look most vulnerable, and indeed have so many sets in the home that in really tight times a bedroom set could be called into front-line duty if the main set fails."

Just how accurate his methods are remain to be seen, but there is a certain logic to them – isn’t there?

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