Stevens, PA—Affluent consumers are feeling financial better off these days, spurring increased spending in an array of luxury products, most notably a 52.2% increase in spending on accessories.
The results are part of Unity Marketing’s latest survey gauging wealthy consumers’ confidence in their financial status as well their outlook. The Luxury Tracking Survey, found third quarter spending was up 25.8% over second quarter.
“During the first half of 2012 affluent consumers were restrained in their spending on luxurygoods and services, but they picked up the pace strongly in luxury spending during the third quarter survey,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing.
Moreover, 52% say they feel financially better off than a year ago—the highest rate since first quarter 2011.
“Rising even more sharply is the percentage of luxury consumers who feel the country as a whole is doing better now as compared with three months ago. Some 37% of affluent surveyed feel the country is now moving in the right direction, up 15 percentage points from last quarter,” Danziger says.
Accessories aren’t the only category benefiting from improved consumer confidence. Among the other categories posting the strongest quarter-over-quarter increases are:
• Apparel, with spending up 95.2% over second quarter
• Kitchenware and cooks’ tools, up 83.1%
• Cosmetics, fragrances, up 75.4%
• Dining, up 67.7%
Noting that throughout 2011 and 2012 luxury spending declined as the Luxury Consumption Index (LCI) grew weaker over the same period.
“Finally in the latest survey, we see a shift toward growing confidence which should give marketers that target all income levels a boost. After all, the affluent consumers we survey are the economy’s ‘heavy lifters,’ accounting for only 20% of U.S. households but over 40% of all consumer spending,” Danziger explains.
Unity Marketing has been calculating the LCI since first quarter 2004 based upon five key measures of luxury consumer confidence including their expectations for future spending on luxury, their personal financial conditions and their overall assessment of the economy as a whole, in surveys conducted every three months among more than 1,200 affluent luxury consumers. This quarter’s luxury tracking survey, conducted from October 9-15, 2012, took the measure of 1,289 luxury consumers (average income $290,600; average age 44 years; median net worth $797,000). www.unitymarketingonline.com