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GE Capital survey projects music industry growth

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Music industry executives say an increase in consumer demand will lead to higher overall sales and a higher proportion of online sales in 2013, according to a new survey by GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) unit.

Forty-three percent of those who responded to the January survey said they expect their sales to increase by 10 percent or more this year, while another 38 percent say they expect sales to increase between 5 and 10 percent.

The data represent a slight shift from a year ago, when 54 percent of respondents said they expected sales growth of 10 percent or more and a quarter of respondents said they expected sales to grow between 5 and 10 percent.

“Like others in this industry, we’re optimistic about consumer demand this year,” said Dave Wilson, commercial leader of CDF’s diversified products group, in a prepared statement. “Although wholesale purchases were soft heading into 2013, we think that will turn around now that we’re seeing positive signs in the U.S. economy. Unemployment rates are declining, consumer confidence is improving and home sales are increasing — all of which are good news for sales of instruments and related products.”

More respondents said online sales would be a significant component of their sales, based on the survey results. Twenty-seven percent said online sales would comprise between 15 and 45 percent of their business, while a year ago, 20 percent said online sales would be at the latter levels.

Forty-four percent of respondents said they expect the most popular sales category to be fretted instruments, such as guitars; percussion instruments, which include drums; keyboards and amplifiers. Professional audio equipment is expected to be the second-most popular category, based on the survey results.

GE Capital, based in Norwalk, is a subsidiary of General Electric Co., headquartered in Fairfield.

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