Affluent Consumers Plan Few Changes in Spending Despite Dim Outlook for Personal Income and the Economy

New Survey of Affluent and Luxury Consumers Shows Who is Spending and for What

Oct 21, 2010, 11:10 ET from American Affluence Research Center

ATLANTA, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Generally continuing the improved spending outlook first evident in its Spring 2010 survey, the results of this new survey by the American Affluence Research Center show few changes in future spending plans despite a dim outlook for the economy, the stock market, and personal income among certain groups of affluent and luxury consumers.

Similar to the Conference Board's September consumer confidence index for the general public, this new survey of the wealthiest 10% of US households shows the affluent have a relatively negative 12 month outlook for business conditions and their personal income.

The Fall 2010 Affluent Market Tracking Study #18 is representative of the 11.4 million households that account for about half of all consumer spending and represents the estimated potential purchase during the next 12 months of 1.8 million autos, 1.7 million home remodeling projects, 2.7 million cruises, 353,000 vacation homes, and 673,000 primary residences.

About 41% of the affluent say they will make a conscious effort to reduce or defer expenditures during the next 12 months, the same as the Spring 2008 (40%) level and below the Fall (50%) and Spring 2009 (60%) levels.

Plans to purchase one of the eight major expenditures listed show very little change from the prior Spring survey and some even show a slight increase (though the numbers are very small). Interest in acquiring a primary residence, in total, is at a strong level not seen since the Fall 2007 survey.

None of the 17 categories of products and services that are tracked for changes in spending plans is in positive territory. With the exception of dining in casual/family restaurants and recreational activities, the index for all of the categories was down from the prior Spring survey, typically by 3 to 5 points. This suggests some retrenchment from the increased spending plans that seemed to be associated with evidence of "frugal fatigue" in the Spring survey.

In 12 of the 17 categories, two-thirds or more plan to spend the same or more during the next 12 months.

Highlights of the survey are shown at:  

The report includes December holiday gift spending plans, and plans for remodeling of kitchens and bathrooms. Complimentary copies for the media.  

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Ron Kurtz

Ron Kurtz


SOURCE American Affluence Research Center