Sales of technical consumer goods – including IT among a range of categories – rose 4.6 per cent to €43.4bn (£34.3bn) in Q2 of 2012, compared with Q2 in 2011, according to GfK.
The figures are from GfK's TEMAX Western Europe survey for Q2, and show that IT as a subset of that also saw "healthy single digit growth", and telecoms was the strongest segment of all, although office equipment and consumables saw a slight value drop. Greece, Portugal and Spain were the only nations that saw an overall decline in the quarter.
"Telco sales reached €5.2bn in this period. This sector achieved cumulative growth for the first half year of 12.6 per cent and its sales value amounted to €10.5bn," the market analyst wrote in its press statement. "The IT sector demonstrated a strong improvement once again, rising 6.4 per cent in Q2 2012. This corresponds to a sales volume of €13.1bn and a 1.9 per cent increase for the first two quarters of the year, which amounted to €27.3bn."
According to GfK, the UK, Austria, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands saw single-digit growth for consumer IT product sales from April to June. The Belgian and Swedish IT markets expanded 13.9 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.
While primary categories such as desktops, monitors and mobile PCs are more or less saturated, media tablets – as previously reported by ChannelWeb – were driving sales, taking peripherals and accessory sales along for the ride.
Furthermore, most western European markets have not yet reached maximum smartphone penetration, and are therefore continuing to benefit from consumers who are switching over from their older mobile handsets.
The summer saw large, sharp displays, GPS chips and strong photo functionality – such as the ability to upload photos quickly to social networks – prove popular. Features that enable mobile web browsing were also "a huge selling point" for these devices, GfK reported.
The outlook for these categories depends greatly on consumer expectations, which have taken a hit by the eurozone problems. However, German consumers, for example, appeared to remain somewhat optimistic even though their economic expectations have reduced in recent months, the analyst added.
MSP plans to use new acquisition to expand its security offerings
Reseller also saw its operating profit fall five per cent in its financial 2017
Wendy Bahr to bring 18-year spell at networking giant to an end
AdEPT says latest purchase will push revenue beyond £50m