Sales of LCD and plasma TVs showed a 53 per cent year-on-year increase in the US for the first quarter of 2008, with more than 7.5 million units sold.
This represents a 7 per cent increase over industry projections for the period.
While analysts in Japan have attributed a 35 per cent increase in flat-panel TV sales during the first half of June to the upcoming Beijing Olympics, industry executives in the US are being more cagey.
But what those attending the DisplaySearch TV Supply Chain Conference in San Diego did agree on was that despite the state of the US economy, the North America TV market remains robust – so far.
Paul Gagnon director of North American TV research at DisplaySearch, said the data also highlighted consumer preference for smaller LCD and plasma TVs.
“Smaller TV sizes are doing better than larger sizes, while the larger sizes seem to be under pressure from weakened consumer spending,” he said.
“For example, global shipments of 32” TVs exceeded our forecasts by 10 per cent, while all screen size categories above 40” fell short of expectations by 3 per cent or more.”
The summer holiday season is expected to present a major challenge for US retailers if the present economic trend continues, according to a majority of conference attendees.
That could translate into better deals for consumers, and those deals could remain even if the economy recovers over the next few years because panel manufacturers are adding more TV assembly lines.

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