Apple, like all consumer electronics vendors, could face challenges maintaining sales of its products as the latest ChangeWave Consumer US Spending report confirms slowing consumer electronics spending.

The survey of 4,735 US consumers was completed on 7 April and focused on spending patterns for the next 90 days. The survey found that 42 per cent of respondents say they'll spend less over the next 90 days than they did a year ago - three points worse than ChangeWave’s previous survey in February 2008.

There's some who'll spend more, 25 per cent of those surveys plans to do just that, the same number of consumers who said the same in February.

What could potentially impact Apple's iPod and Apple TV sales is the revelation that consumer electronics sales are registering the biggest slowdown of any spending category.

Just 15 per cent of shoppers say they’ll spend more on consumer electronics over the next 90 days compared to 37 per cent who say less, an eight point decline just since February, and the weakest 90-day outlook for electronics spending ever recorded in a ChangeWave survey.

Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave Research and editor of ChangeWave Investing observed:  “Unfortunately for the economic bulls, rather than buying TVs and other goodies, consumers appear far more likely to use defensive tactics – like saving money or paying off debt – during this period of economic uncertainty.”

Those planning to spend less are most worried by inflation and high energy costs, but existing debt and the desire to save money to help weather the storm ahead were also cited as reasons for the spending slowdown.

There's good new for low cost and discount retailers, with consumers confirming they plan to shop more at the big chains, Wal-Mart and Costco. Premium retailers such as The Gap and Macy's are set to lose shoppers, the report shows.