Worldwide expenditure on technological products will reach $1.1 trillion this year, 4 percent more than in 2012, thanks to the demand for tablet computers and smartphones, according to a report from the U.S. Consumer Electronics Association.

The industry group announced its new year's predictions for the sector to the press covering the 2013 Computer Electronics Show, which opens officially Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The study, prepared by consultants GfK in collaboration with CEA, said that technology consumption contracted 1 percent in 2012 compared with 2011, due to Europe's economic woes and weak growth in the United States.

During the next 12 months, the technology market is expected to grow in emerging nations by 9 percent, while in developed countries it will increase by a mere 1 percent.

In Western Europe, spending on technology in 2013 is predicted to be similar to what it was in 2012, while in Japan it is likely to decline.

The United States will show a 2 percent increase in the sector, while in Latin America, GfK noted the potential of Brazil and Argentina.

Developed countries, despite sluggish growth, will continue leading in technology spending in absolute terms, accounting for 56 percent of global sales.

It is estimated that in 2013 there will be a tablet PC in four out of every 10 U.S. households. Penetration of smartphones will be around 55 percent.

GfK experts estimate that in the coming years the difference between smartphones, tablets and laptops will dissipate to such a degree that it will be hard to place the new devices in clearly separate categories. EFE