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Market Re-forecasts - Technology - UK - March 2009

Mintel's re-forecasting puts markets in realistic light

In less than nine months, the UK has changed from booming, overheated economy to an economy in crisis. In a fast-developing environment, up-to-date market and consumer data is more critical than ever.

It takes time for changes in macro-economic variables to have an impact on consumer spending. But it is now clear that consumers’ expectations, attitudes and beliefs have changed dramatically in the past six months. As a result, Mintel’s market size estimates and forecasts based on different consumer expectations warrant revision. For the first time in its near-40 years of delivering market and consumer insights, Mintel has conducted an exhaustive mid-cycle re-evaluation of consumer market forecasts published in 2007 & 2008.

The macro-economic changes

Since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, crisis upon crisis has hit the UK financial services sector with several key players having to be rescued from the threat of insolvency. The consequences for the UK economy have been dramatic as the government and markets have reacted to unfolding events. Some of the falls include:

  • interest rates from 5% to 0.5% (Oct. ’08 to Mar ‘09)

  • the sterling/dollar exchange rate from $2 to the pound to $1.45 (Jun. ‘08 to Feb ’09)

  • the sterling/euro exchange rate from 1.25 euros to the pound to a low of 1.01 euros (most of ’08 to Jan. ’09)

  • the retail price index (RPI) from 5% to 0.1% (Sept. ’08 to Jan ’09)

  • the consumer price index (CPI) from over 5% to 3% (Sept. ’08 to Jan ’09 – less dramatic than RPI primarily as it excludes mortgage interest payments and housing depreciation).

The significance of these changes

Mintel has tracked UK consumer expenditure for almost 40 years, including the recessions of the seventies, 1980-81 and 1991-92.

Mintel market size estimates combine historic data trends with the most current consumer data, published data and trade insight. Using a range of economic variables, primarily consumer-related, such as consumer expenditure, personal disposable income and the consumer price index, we have re-estimated and re-forecast the market data in more than 300 of our UK reports.

This work will enable us to understand better which sectors are suffering most in the current economic crisis. How are consumers likely to spend their incomes in the coming years? Which sectors will suffer and benefit most? How should suppliers react in the short-, medium- and long-term?

The worst impact of recession is skewed towards certain sectors where big ticket, discretionary purchases are the norm: automotive; any sector where there is a close correlation with house purchasing (eg brown & white goods, floor coverings), technology and travel. But within each sector, there are winners and losers. Are car-buyers switching from new to used cars? Is the after-sales market benefiting as car owners delay purchases? When will an upturn take place?

Are consumers trading up to better quality products, trading down, or trading over? Each segment of each sector has to be analysed separately and in comparison with others.

Presentation of data

Mintel’s revised data is presented in an easy-to-use manner:

  • relevant commentary about the sector, with discussion of pertinent changes in the sector and an overall assessment of the current state of the market

  • a chart of the previous estimates and forecasts for a sector alongside the revised data

  • tables for the period 2002-2012 or 2003-2013, incorporating

  • previous and revised estimates & forecasts at current prices

  • the absolute value of the change to the market forecast

  • index numbers to show percentage changes

  • In most cases, we have added a further paragraph bringing to the attention of users of a scenario based on a more pessimistic forecast of economic circumstances in 2009. This is based on February ONS (Office of National Statistics) data. This should be seen as indicative of the impact of further economic decline: a worse case (but not worst case) scenario.

What next?

Aggregated and revised data, including forecasts to 2014 will be published in British Lifestyles 2009: consumers in crisis at the beginning of April 2009.

A further review of the changes in the markets surveyed by Mintel, consumers’ expenditure plans, and economic forecasts will take place July 2009 and, if necessary, a further set of revised forecasts with commentary will be published in July 2009.

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Table of contents

  1. Key Findings

    • Technology
    • Introduction

      • Mintel’s re-forecasting puts markets in realistic light
        • The macro-economic changes
          • The significance of these changes
            • Presentation of data
              • What next?
                • Methodology
                  • Differences
                  • Audio Equipment

                      • Figure 1: Total UK retail sales of audio equipment, at current prices, 2002-12
                    • Factors used in forecast
                    • Digital Cameras

                        • Figure 2: Forecast of UK retail sales of digital cameras, by value, at current prices, 2003-13
                        • Figure 3: Forecast of UK retail sales of digital cameras, 2003-13
                      • Factors used in the forecast
                      • DVD Players

                            • Figure 4: Market size and forecast of DVD players, by value at current prices, 2002-12
                            • Figure 5: Market size and forecast of DVD players, by volume, 2002-12
                          • Factors used in forecast
                          • Fixed Line Providers

                              • Figure 6: Fixed-line voice revenues, 2003-12
                            • Factors used in forecast
                              • Figure 7: Fixed-line access revenues, 2003-12
                              • Figure 8: Breakdown of forecast of fixed call revenue, 2003-13
                            • Factors used in forecast
                            • PC Software

                                  • Figure 9: UK value sales of software, 2001-11
                                  • Figure 10: UK volume sales of software, 2003-11
                                • Factors used in forecast
                                • Portable Technology Retailing

                                    • Figure 11: Market size and forecast of portable technology, at current prices, 2001-11
                                  • Factors used in forecast
                                  • Recordable Media

                                      • Figure 12: UK (optical) recordable media market value at current prices, 2005-10
                                  • Satellite and Cable TV

                                        • Figure 13: Trends in take-up of satellite and cable TV in the UK, 2002-12
                                        • Figure 14: Trends in take-up of satellite and cable TV in the UK, 2002-12
                                      • Impact of the latest macro-economic data
                                        • Factors used in the forecast
                                        • Televisions

                                              • Figure 15: Forecast for total UK retail sales of TV sets, by value, at current prices, 2002-12
                                              • Figure 16: Forecast for UK retail sales of small* TV sets, by volume, 2002-12
                                              • Figure 17: Forecast for UK retail sales of large* TV sets, by volume, 2002-12
                                            • Factors used in forecast
                                            • Uploading and Downloading

                                                • Figure 18: UK value sales of downloads, at current prices, 2002-12

                                            Market Re-forecasts - Technology - UK - March 2009

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