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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Affluent Shoppers Will Not Alter Spending Despite Gloomy Economic Outlook

A new survey of the wealthiest 10 percent of U.S. households shows that the affluent have a relatively negative 12-month outlook for business conditions, the stock market and their personal household income. However, this hasn’t caused a major disruption to their shopping plans, according to a study by the American Affluence Research Center.

Among those planning to buy holiday gifts, about 3 percent said they will spend an average of 7.7 percent more than in 2009, according to the Fall 2010 Affluent Market Tracking Study #18. About 28 percent said they plan to spend an average of 14.9 percent less for holiday gifts than in 2009. The remaining 69 percent said they plan to spend the same as in 2009.

This represents a decline of 3.9 percent from the average of $2,399 that the respondents say they spent in 2009, according to the survey of 11.4 million households that account for about half of all consumer spending.

These numbers represent a slight improvement from the results of the fall 2009 survey, the Alpharetta, Ga.-based market research firm said. At that time, the survey indicated the affluent would spend an average of $2,370 or 5.4 percent less than in 2008.

The full report will be available October 14.