Survey: Big-Ticket Items Continue Downward Slide

New York City The latest news out of Deloitte’s consumer group is that sales of consumer electronics, furniture, appliances, cars, home improvement products and other big-ticket items are expected to continue their downward tumble in the months ahead, this according to the latest movements in the Deloitte Leading Index of Consumer Durables Spending.

The index, which turned negative in September 2007, fell for the sixth straight month in March 2008, suggesting that real personal consumption expenditures on durable goods (manufactured goods designed to last at least three years) is on a sustained downward trend. 

“The sustained, six-month decline in the index suggests that there may be significant weakness in consumer spending on consumer electronics, furniture, appliances, cars, home improvement products and other big-ticket items in the coming months,” said Ira Kalish, director of research for Deloitte’s consumer products group and author of the monthly index.

Kalish noted that “all four components of the index moved in a negative direction in March.” The four components include the consumer price index for urban consumers, initial claims for unemployment insurance, real hourly earnings and new single-family houses sold.