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From evolution of cameras to emerging consumer goods and services

     During festivals and gatherings, cameras often accompany us to capture every important moment. For photography enthusiasts, professional photography equipment is indispensable to shoot high-quality photos. The evolution from traditional film cameras to digital cameras can be described as an important milestone in history. In the ever-changing digital imaging market, demand for digital single-lens reflex cameras is expanding. The mirrorless digital camera newly introduced in recent years meanwhile no longer has a reflex mirror and prism system structure. Its more compact form has gradually captured the attention of photography enthusiasts and is likely to establish a presence in the camera market.

     To reflect the up-to-date expenditure patterns of households, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) conducts the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) once every five years in order to update the expenditure weights of the Consumer Price Indices (CPIs). The data collection work of the new round of the HES will be conducted from October 2014 to September 2015. The C&SD will adjust the consumption basket of the CPIs based on the survey data by deleting the obsolete items which had become insignificant and adding certain new items with increasing popularity so as to compile a new 2014/15-based index series.

     Taking the 2009/10 HES as an example, playgroups had become popular in Hong Kong during that survey period. These playgroups, mainly providing activities such as musical games and physical and perceptual motor training for children aged between 6 months and 3 years old, have been well-received by parents. Based on the survey results of the 2009/10 HES, the school fees for playgroups had registered a significant share in the total household expenditure and were added to the latest CPI basket together with Ngong Ping 360 cable car fares, rental of mini-warehouses and other emerging commodities and services. When compared with 2004/05, the expenditure share for digital single-lens reflex cameras also increased during the survey period. Thus, its expenditure weight in the 2009/10-based CPIs rose accordingly.

     In recent years, wedding planning services have definitely been among the services with emerging popularity in Hong Kong. The services not only cover wedding theme design, but also include catering, decoration, photography, wedding gown and suit rental, make-up and hairdressing. A wedding planner provides timely and attentive services to couples who have no idea about traditional and complicated wedding customs and procedures, and busy city dwellers regard such a one-stop service as a time-saving choice with minimal trouble.

     With the increasing popularity of the aforementioned digital photography, people are concerned more about photo printing technology and portability. Demand for manually operated negative finishing and inkjet digital photo printing is diminishing. Nowadays, the technology of the pocket-sized wireless mobile photo printer is getting more mature and mainly adopts ink-free printing. This product has become popular since it enables users to print photos through mobile apps anytime and anywhere. Moreover, with the global sweep of the tablet computer in recent years, smart devices have become part of our lives. It will be interesting to see if the long-awaited wearable computing devices such as smart glasses and smart watches can continue the trend of smart communication products becoming popular at a fast pace.

     To find out which new and emerging items of consumer goods and services will eventually be added to the 2014/15-based CPI basket, please look forward to the survey report to be published around mid-2016.

Ends/Thursday, September 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:00


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