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Trends and Forecasting

Trends and Forecasting

Today’s speed to market of new offerings and shortening product lifecycles place a unique pressure on businesses to stay ahead.  Consumer purchasing behavior is shifting more rapidly than ever.

To succeed, businesses need accurate sales forecasts -- based on robust analysis -- and the most up-to-date purchasing and market trends.

We deliver detailed forecasts of consumer demand for technology devices, as well as global technology market trends. 

Our forecasts are built using the world’s largest sample of point of sales data, combined with our global expertise and local knowledge. This combination provides our clients uniquely granular and timely forecasts of future demand – forecasting what products consumers will purchase, in what volume, at what price, and where.  

Forecasting for investors and capital markets

Institutional investors face pressure to perform. To succeed, businesses need visibility to significant trends at the earliest stage(s). Businesses need to acquire reliable and compliant information on where to invest. 

We provide investors with robust forecasts using the world’s largest sample of point of sales data. We predict and document turning points in consumer demand, providing regular, detailed company analyses on technology hardware, semiconductor and consumer durable companies. 

Our forecasts allow investors to make successful recommendations backed up by credible and compliant sources.

Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for Trends and Forecasting industry. View all insights

    • 10/25/16
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Tech Trends
    • Global
    • English

    Smartphones: Growth unabated in 3Q, though China expected to weigh on 2017 demand

    Global smartphone demand totals 353 million units in 3Q16. Latin America returns to growth after five consecutive quarters of decline.  Demand in Great Britain grows following ‘Brexit’ vote.  China demand to decline in 2017 due to reduced operator subsidies.
    • 10/14/16
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Public Services
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    GfK Consumer Climate Europe: Uncertainty impacts consumer sentiment

    GfK Consumer Climate Europe results for the third quarter of 2016
    • 10/07/16
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Innovating in a post-Brexit Britain

    Since the referendum on June 23rd and the decision of the British people to leave the European Union, brands and marketers have been contemplating what it means for them, and how, if at all, they should adapt their strategy and communications to appeal to the residents of a Disunited Kingdom. One idea put forward has been that the result points to a “fear of the future” on the part of consumers, and therefore a cautious approach to innovation is called for. I would argue, however, that times of uncertainty such as this are exactly when ground-breaking innovations can flourish.

    Consumers confident about the future

    With the latest GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer showing that confidence about the economic outlook has recovered to pre-referendum levels, it seems that for the time being at least consumers are relatively relaxed about the immediate future. However as others have pointed out, Brexit has not actually taken place yet, and there could still be instability in the months and years ahead. In any eventuality, it’s unlikely that consumers are going to become less amenable to innovations that genuinely improve their lives without depleting their bank balance.

    Economic uncertainty presents an opportunity for innovation

    At GfK, we’ve been able to observe how consumers’ attitudes and behaviors have evolved over time, not only via the Consumer Confidence Barometer but also through our Consumer Life survey, which has been running in the US since the 1970s and globally since 1997. We’ve seen time and again that in times of economic uncertainty or difficulty, both at home and abroad, that consumers will make cutbacks, but at the same time will want to maintain their standard of living as much as possible. During the global financial crisis at the end of last decade, for example, we saw the emergence of a number of innovations that helped consumers to do just that, including group discount sites such as Groupon, and the use of smartphones to get location-specific deals and discounts. All of this innovation helped consumers to maintain habits such as eating out.

    What innovation means to consumers

    More recently, we’ve asked consumers what innovation means to them, and here in the UK some of the most enthusiastic responses came from those aged over 50, who were more likely to vote Leave in the referendum and therefore might thought to be the kind of people to display a fear of the future. In fact, however, they were more likely than average to see innovation as an easier way of doing something, simplifying complexity and saving money. Millennials, on the other hand, only mentioned a few innovation attributes more than average, namely being unique and different, fun and exciting, and harnessing technology. The lesson for companies and brands is that times of uncertainty are exactly when consumers are looking for disruptive and ground-breaking innovations to help them carry on with their lives regardless of the macro-economic situation. What’s more, it’s the group that might be most expected to prefer a cautious approach to innovation that makes the most demands for new products and services that make practical differences to their lives. David Crosbie is a Director at GfK Consumer Life. Please share your thoughts with him at
    • 10/04/16
    • Consumer Goods
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    A little perspective: The long term view of consumer confidence

    Last week, after the Chelsea bombings, a friend of mine called and asked how everything was in New York – was I able to get around?  Was my daughter’s school closed?  Had I missed work?  Could I still go out and buy groceries?  Very thankfully, the answers to these questions were yes, no, no and yes — everything was OK. We then talked about how it seemed the further away from New York City you are, the more dramatic (and traumatic) the events were, but for intrepid New Yorkers, the reactions were much more measured.  In fact, New York magazine published an article “Things New Yorkers Are More Afraid of Than ISIS” (bed bugs and flying cockroaches top the list) and one Twitter user gained Internet fame in a nanosecond with the post, “Yeah, I heard the bomb go off so I called 911 and then went to the deli” (I paraphrase). This got me thinking about perspective, and how sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in what has happened in the last 24 hour news cycle, seeing everything only through that lens.  Our latest findings from the global GfK Consumer Life study bring this point home.  Our 2016 numbers are recently out, and we have been tracking global consumer confidence for the past two decades.  This year, 68% of consumers around the globe feel confident that they will be better off in the next 12 months, and the number hasn’t really budged (upwards or downwards) in the last three years.  Our high point in this metric was way back in 2000, during the height of the explosion, when it was 73%.  The low was during the 2009 global financial crisis when the number dipped to 59%.   So, what does this mean?  A few things:
    • Keep Calm and Carry On.  This phrase was first used by the British government during the Second World War.  It gained kitschy popularity during the 2009 economic crisis and is equally relevant in the wake of Brexit.  Despite the noise and media amplification of negative events, people are, in fact, carrying on.
    • Optimism.  The global economy is certainly not perfect, but it’s not all gloom and doom either.  As Harvey Milk said, “You have to give people hope.”  This is what moves us forward as businesses, brands and individuals.  That so many people around the globe exhibit at least some level of optimism is, at a minimum, reassuring.
    • Perspective.  Our belief at GfK is that innovation is all about improving people’s lives.  I started this piece talking about perspective, and certainly sometimes it helps to take the long view.  We’re not at a high point, but we’re certainly not at a low point either.  This is important to remember if you are creating products, services or communication strategies and you want them to align with how people are living their lives today.

    Kathy Sheehan is Executive Vice President and General Manager of GfK’s Consumer Trends team. She can be reached at
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