Tech-hungry Southeast Asians helped drive the growth of the technical consumer goods industry in the first quarter of this year, according to a recent market study by Gfk Asia.
The Gfk Technical Market Index (Temax) showed that the telecommunications sector, in particular, benefited from the tech craze as Southeast Asians spent more on smartphones rather than smaller domestic appliances.
The Gfk Temax measures the technical consumer goods markets across 30 countries worldwide. The index is derived from monitoring the markets for consumer electronics, imaging & photo, home appliances, information technology & office equipment, and telecom.
The index for the first quarter 2011 showed that the technical consumer goods industry registered a 12 per cent increase compared to the first quarter of last year. The report covered five Southeast Asian countries -- Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Four out of the five markets - with the exception of Singapore -- registered double-digit growth from 12 to 30 per cent. Indonesia bested Vietnam, which was leading in the last two quarters.
"Among the five countries, Indonesia was the only market that showed consistent positive growth across all the technical consumer goods sectors Gfk tracks," said Stanley Kee, regional commercial director, Gfk Asia. "Its telecommunications sector grew by a whopping 39 per cent, making it the highest growth record across the board for the first quarter of the year versus the same time period last year."
In contrast, Vietnam's growth slowed down to 17 per cent compared to 28 per cent the previous quarter.
The growth of the telecommunications industry was evident not just in Indonesia but across the other countries as well. The telecommunications industry outdid small domestic appliances as the best performing industry with 22 per cent growth during the period.
"The current hype surrounding smartphones has been stimulating sales and driving the performance of the telecommunication industry considerably," said Kee.
Aside from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam also contributed to the growth of the industry. The Thai telecommunications industry grew by 37 per cent while Vietnam's industry grew by 23 per cent.
After the telecommunications industry, the second best performing industry was major domestic appliances, with 20 per cent growth, followed by consumer electronics at 15 per cent.
Looking ahead, Kee said the technical consumer goods industry is expected to grow further with the introduction of more innovative technologies and gadgets for the tech-hungry consumers. Examples of such technical consumer goods that are expected to drive the momentum are the tablets, 3D and LED TVs.
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