Affluent Consumers Regain A Bit Of Confidence
Following the luxury surveys lately is getting increasingly confusing, a response perhaps to the uncertainty in the marketplace. The overall consensus seems to be that hopes for better days are alive, they just remain off in the distance a bit. The most recent survey of affluent consumers from Unity Marketing shows results similar to the ones we saw recently in the Bain's "Luxury Goods Worldwide Market" study which is that recovery is coming, it's just not coming too quickly.
Unity Marketing's Luxury Consumption Index reports a modest uptick of 1.5 points in their latest survey of affluents (average income of $207,000). While luxury consumers are still cutting back on spending they do feel more optimistic about the future of both their personal finances and the country's economic recovery. Many of the 1,034 people surveyed said they see a recovery coming within the next twelve months.
What will happen to the luxury goods industry remains to be seen No one knows if the current climate of austerity is permanent. Tom Bodenberg, Unity Marketing's chief economist thinks that luxury consumer spending could rise as a response to the recent enforced wallet tightening. But he also says that the media's focus on "recession chic" could continue to have an effect on the perception of conspicuous consumption. The best possible scenario for luxury goods businesses is that 2009 is a reverse of 2008 which had a strong first few months and then a sudden and deep decline.
|Ask me in six months||50 (21.0%)|
|Maybe next year||59 (24.8%)|
|I'm all thrift, all the time from now on||39 (16.4%)|