The outlook for the luxury industry is improving, according to luxury research and marketing firm Unity Marketing. The firm’s measure of affluent consumer confidence, the Luxury Consumption Index, improved by 4 points to reach 76.1 for the first quarter 2011.
"The uptick in this quarter's LCI reveals a more positive outlook among affluent consumers about the economy at large, as well as increased optimism about their personal economic situation," said Pam Danziger, Unity Marketing president. "Affluents backed up their growing confidence by spending 4.1 percent more on luxury goods and services in the fourth quarter as compared with the same period last year."
Luxury categories that posted strongest growth year-over-year as measured by the average amount spent by affluents, included: Kitchenware and housewares (including food processors, juicers, espresso machines), electronics (such as high-end televisions and digital book readers and travel (luxury cruises).
"While we may not see the boom times of 2003-2007, the current LCI shows an increase from the previous quarter, and may signify that the recent bump in retail demand may be sustainable,” said Tom Bodenberg, Unity Marketing's chief consumer economist. “Closer analysis reveals that despite a noted reduction of market pessimism, this has yet to fully translate into increased demand."
The latest luxury consumer survey results are published in Unity Marketing's Luxury Tracking Report 1Q2011 -- The latest report on what luxuries affluents are buying and how much they are spending. The survey was conducted January 6-13, 2011 among 1,237 affluent luxury consumers (average income $308,700; median net worth $861,000; age 43.9 yrs; 42 percent male and 58 percent female).