Similar to the Conference Board's new consumer confidence index for the general public, a new survey of the wealthiest 10 percent of U.S. households by the American Affluence Research Center shows the affluent have a relatively negative 12-month outlook for business conditions, the stock market, and their personal household income.
And those planning to reduce their expenditures for various products and services outnumber those expecting to increase their spending. For example, among those planning to buy holiday gifts, about 3 percent said they will spend an average of 7.7 percent more than in 2009. 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 plan to spend the same as in 2009. This represents an overall average 3.9 percent decline from the average of $2,399 that the respondents say they spent in 2009.
These numbers also represent a slight improvement from the results of the fall 2009 survey. At that time, the survey indicated the affluent would spend an average of $2,370 or 5.4 percent less than in 2008.
The findings are published in the Fall 2010 Affluent Market Tracking Study #18, which is representative of the 11.4 million households that account for about half of all consumer spending, according to the research center. The complete report shows the future outlook of the affluent for business conditions, the stock market, personal household income, and spending plans for 8 major items and 17 different products and services.