Prices of TVs and PCs Plummet as Prices of Newspapers and Textbooks Climb

January 17, 2013 - 5:51 PM

TV

A 150-inch high definition Panasonic TV. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - In what may be as much an ongoing sign of America’s changing culture as its changing economy, the prices of televisions and personal computers dropped significantly over the past year, while the prices of newspapers, magazines and textbooks went up.

According to new data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of a television went down 17.5 percent from December 2011 to December 2012. At the same time, the average price of personal computers and their peripheral equipment went down 8.7 percent.

Purchasers of non-electronic instruments for delivering news and information faced a different marketplace, however. The average prices of newspapers and magazines climbed 6.2 percent from December 2011 to December 2012, said BLS. At the same time, the average price of a college textbook rose 7.9 percent.

For the past 13 years, according to BLS, the price of the average television has dropped by double-digit percentages (from December to December). For personal computers, the average price has dropped by double-digit percentages in five out of the last seven years.

But for newspapers and magazines, the average price has increased every year (December to December) for the last fourteen years. The smallest increase was from December 2009 to December 2009, when the average price nosed up just 0.2 percent. The biggest increase was this year, when the average price for a newspaper or magazine rose 6.2 percent from December to December.

The price of college textbooks has risen every year (December to December) for ten years. The biggest increase was 2006 to 2007 when the average price for college textbooks went up 9 percent. The second biggest increase was 2011-2012, when the average price for college textbooks went up 7.9 percent.

According to Editor & Publisher, total newspaper advertising revenue in the United States hit an historical high of $49,435,000,000 in 2005, but had dropped to $23,941,000,000 by 2011—a decline of 52 percent.