The IFA consumer and trade fair got underway today with the opening focus very much on flat screen TVs

Launching the event with a decidedly European spin – well it is in Berlin – much was made of strong consumer confidence despite reports to the contrary. 

Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of ZVEI, the German electrical and electronic manufacturers´ association, said healthy growth in flat-screen TV sales globally suggested consumer restraint was over-stated. 

He added that, with the exception of the UK – where a devalued pound and the failure to qualify for Europe´s major football championship had had a major impact – European sales were strong. 

Four European countries, including Germany, had enjoyed double-digit growth with average set prices of EURO 690. 

“The major growth driver in Europe is flat-screen TVs,” he said. “I am more optimistic than others and more optimistic than the figures suggest.” 

Among the highlights coming up over the next few days are Sony and Samsung demonstrating OLED TVs and product announcements from major manufacturers such as Toshiba, Panasonic and Sharp.

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