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TV sales stay strong in recession


New York City Research firm iSuppli Corp. said Wednesday that sales of new flat-panel TVs jumped 17% to 7.8 million in the first three months of the year, compared with the same time frame a year ago.

Sales had declined in the fourth quarter from the year before, and the industry was expecting to see that trend continue into this year, according to a report by Associated Press.

ISuppli's VP displays, Joe Abelson, attributed the increase to "cocooning." People who have cut back on travel and other spending still find the money to improve their home-entertainment setup, he said.

Consumers are looking for cheaper sets, and they're more likely to go to cheaper stores. Wal-Mart nearly matched Best Buy in sales volume, iSuppli said.

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