UK tech sales boom drowns out recession

Technology shopping

Technical gadget sales have been booming in the UK, despite a general sense of caution in the British consumer market.

A report from market research company Mintel showed UK shoppers spent 50.5 billion on technology and communications products and services last year in the depths of the recession. Over the past five years, Mintel has noted a growth of 80 per cent in this sector.

Sales figures of mobile phones showed annual increases as they are perceived to be an essential buy that spans the personal and business lives of consumers, claimed the report. This, and the growth of internet awareness, has helped to keep the market buoyant.

"The majority of consumers say they are 'very cautious' about spending on non-essential items and this is not only restricted to those worst hit," said Richard Perks, research director at Mintel. "Indeed, over 60 per cent of those who are a little or a lot better off because of the recession retain some caution about spending."

Mintel predicted, between 2010 and 2015, expenditure on technology and communications products and services will grow by a further 20 per cent in real terms. At constant 2010 prices, this would translate into a growth of 140 per cent.

The report showed the other area with a strong performance was clothing and adornment products. This accounted for a 46.2 billion spend in 2009.