LCD Panel Prices Rise on Holiday Demand

LCD TVPricing for television and computer screen panels rose in November for the first time in eight months as retailers geared up for what they hope will be improved sales of consumer electronics products for the 2010 holiday season.

Liquid-crystal display panels that are 10 diagonal inches or longer cost about 1% more in November than they did in October, research firm iSuppli said in a report released Monday. Month-over-month LCD panel prices fell as much as 5% in both July and August as retailers worked down inventories amid sluggish North America TV sales.

"With buyers preparing for this year's holiday season, the introduction of new models in early 2011 and for the Lunar New Year in February, brands and manufacturers alike are starting to buy panels again after maintaining strict inventory control for several months," said Sweta Dash, senior director for LCD research at iSuppli, in the statement. "This, combined with lower level of panel inventories, is causing pricing to rise after several months of decline."

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While Asian market gains have been offset by lackluster U.S. sales of TVs and personal computers, the U.S. economy is showing signs of increased consumer spending. The U.S. Commerce Department last week revised its third-quarter gross domestic product growth figure up to 2.5% from its earlier estimate of 2%

Meanwhile, U.S. spending during the long weekend following Thanksgiving Day rose about 9% from a year earlier to $45 billion as more shoppers flocked to the malls and spent more on average, the National Retail Federation said Sunday.

A total of 212 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the weekend, compared with 195 million last year, while the average shopper increased spending by 6.4% to $365.34, according to the National Retail Federation.
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