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Spending ratchets up

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Friday, April 15, 2011
Posted: 3 pm ET

The rich are ratcheting up their spending and feeling more confident about their own wealth and the direction of the economy, according to the 2011 luxury market survey by American Express and Harrison Group.

Households with at least $100,000 in discretionary income were surveyed, which represents the top 10 percent of wealth in the U.S.

Renewed confidence in employment

Of those surveyed in the first quarter, 58 percent believe the U.S. job market is improving, compared with 44 percent in first quarter 2010; 16 percent are worried they'll lose their job, compared with 30 percent last year; and 11 percent worry their company may go out of business, compared with 24 percent in 2010.

Good times to continue

The wealthier the respondents, the more likely they are to increase spending this year. Forty-five percent of the wealthiest (more than $500,000 in discretionary income) say they look forward to buying more goods and services.

Overall spending by consumers is also up from a year ago, according to Bankrate's latest numbers on retail sales.

The numbers will only get better, according to the survey, with luxury spending increasing by $26.6 billion this year, to a total of $359 billion. But even with the desire to spread more money around, the wealthy say they've been sobered by the recession. Nearly three-fourths report becoming more resourceful, using coupons and waiting for items to go on sale

Are you planning to spend more this year, and has the recession made you more conscious of how you spend?

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1 Comment
April 18, 2011 at 9:10 am

THIS is how the wealthy contribute to the economy. Pumping their cash into businesses (large and small). Paying sales taxes. Instead of just handing it over to our government, where it goes into a blackhole on nonsensical spending.

NOW, if we had a Fair Tax, that would be even better...then the wealthy would pay their "fair share".