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UK consumers are Europe's top tech spenders

More than $31bn spent on electronics this year

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Brits spend more on consumer electronics than any nation in Europe, market watcher GfK has claimed. Together, we have spent £16.8bn ($31.7bn) on high-tech toys this year. Every UK household has spent, on average, £325 ($612) this year on gizmos, gadgets and assorted electronic equipment - £42 ($81) more than their nearest rivals, the Swiss.

Amazingly, the Germans, who have a reputation for a love of technology and gadgetry, come in at number nine on GfK's list, having spent the equivalent of £191 ($360) on such toys during 2006. They're ahead of only the Italians, whose love of the mobile phone clearly doesn't extend to consumer electronics. The average Italian house has spent just £159 ($300) on CE gear this year.

Behind the UK, come Switzerland (£283 -$533), the Netherlands (£277 -$522), Spain (£234 -$441), Belgium (£229 - $431), Austria (£219 -$413), France (£200 - $377) and Sweden (£199 - $375). Actually, we reckon Spain would have come lower on the list had not El Reg's Iberian bureau spent a little less on plasma tellies when the World Cup was on...

Indeed, the UK has the highest ownership of TVs in Europe, with each home containing, on average, 2.5 tellies, GfK. It also pointed to the high level of MP3 player ownership in the UK, where Brits favour more expensive models than do their continental cousins.

"Sales of Sat Nav devices have taken off in the UK – despite the fact that Britain has excellent road signage and the majority of journeys are short," added John Binks, GfK's Commercial Director.

And all those numbers are only going to go up come Christmas. Indeed, it will be interesting to see if the positions change once the festive purchasing period is past. Are all the nations low on the list simply waiting for the season of tinsel and trees to spend their hard earned cash on high-tech kit? ®

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