As of 1 February 2009, Panasonic Australia will introduce price hikes for its entire range of consumer electronics.

The price increases will range from eight to 22 per cent, a direct ramification of the poor economy and the suffering Australian dollar.

“Panasonic’s Australian operations buys in Japanese yen and the US dollar, and the market has seen the Australian dollar weaken against these currencies by more than 30 per cent since July 2008,” said Panasonic’s director of consumer electronics group, Paul Reid.

Panasonic has commented that they tried their hardest to ensure their more popular ranges remain as affordable as possible. For example in their most popular category, home entertainment, there is only an average price increase of around 10 per cent.

LCD and plasma televisions were the best off with rises of around nine per cent.

But sadly some of Panasonic’s other products didn’t fare as well, their home appliance range really suffered with price increases going as high as 22 per cent, with microwaves sadly awarded the highest rate.

Reid commented, “Panasonic Australia has worked closely with its Japanese parent company with the goal of minimising the impact to consumers and not passing on the full extent of the currency decline.”