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Affluents Feel Confident; Luxury Consumption Index Grows at Fastest Pace Ever
Nov 16, 2012
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Affluent consumer confidence showed a strong upturn, with affluent consumers much more positive about their financial status and prospects for the future, according to the latest survey from Unity Marketing. As a result, the Luxury Consumption Index (LCI) rose at its fastest rate ever.

The high level of confidence among affluent consumers also had luxury consumers shopping more in the third quarter of 2012, with luxury spending up 25.8% over the second quarter.

"Over half (52%) of affluent consumer surveyed feel they are financially better off today than 12 months ago; this measure hasn't been this high since 1Q2011," said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing. "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."

The market research firm reported that several luxury categories showed a significant increase in 3Q spending. Spending on luxury kitchenware and cooking tools, for example, was up 83.1% in the report.

"Throughout 2011 and 2012, luxury consumer spending has mostly followed a downward trajectory, with their feelings of consumer confidence as measured by the Luxury Consumption Index (LCI) weak over the same period," Danziger said. "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."

Unity Marketing's Luxury Tracking Survey was conducted Oct. 9-15, 2012, among 1,289 affluent consumers, average age of 44, with an average income of $290,600 and a median net worth of $797,000.

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