Tech spending to slip this year amid political uncertainty

LAS VEGAS (AFP) - Global spending on consumer technology is expected to slip this year due to factors including a strong US dollar and political uncertainty prompted by Brexit and President-elect Donald Trump.

Consumer Technology Association senior director of market research Steve Koenig revealed the US trade group's new forecast here late on Tuesday (Jan 3), predicting the amount of money people around the world spend on smartphones and other gadgets this year would tally US$929 billion (S$1.35 trillion) as compared to US$950 billion in 2016.

Mr Koenig said the "underpinning" of the global forecast was "uncertainty with the election of Trump and with Brexit."

"This air of uncertainty certainly is going to impact discretionary spending of consumers; business investment, and investment by governments," he contended.

Nearly half of the money spent on consumer technology will be for smartphones, which were forecast to account for 47 per cent of spending on devices.

"Mobility really does make the world go around," Mr Koenig said during a CTA presentation ahead of the official opening of the Consumer Electronics Show here this week.

"The smartphone is the centre of the consumer technology universe."