The following is from the Dec. 25, 2007, edition of The Oregonian. Professor Daniel Howard of SMU's Cox School of Business provided expertise for this story.

Consumer trends of 2007

A look back -- and forward -- at the events and issues shaping how you spent your money, from product safety and gift cards to greener energy and real estate

It's likely that more kids opened packages this holiday season containing electronics, video games, books or art supplies. That's because parents reported those were the few items they thought were safe.

In what some have dubbed The Year of the Recall, a spike in the number of toy recalls -- for high lead levels or choking hazards -- have scared many parents, and in turn toy manufacturers and retailers.

Toys have been recalled for years, but this year saw a fivefold increase in the number of toys rescinded -- many from major companies, including Mattel Inc., and Mega Brands Inc.

In the coming year, retail experts predict more toy production will move stateside. Already, demand for U.S.-made toys have helped double the nation's share of the toy manufacturing market so far this year to around 20 percent, said Daniel Howard, professor and chairman of the marketing department at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business in Dallas, Texas.

The country, retail experts say, is on poison alert.

Read the full story.

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