"The first half of 2012 showed affluent consumers restrained in spending on luxury goods and services, but spending rebounded strongly in the third quarter survey," Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury: How new consumer values are redefining the way we market luxury. "Over half (52 percent) of affluent consumer surveyed feel they are financially better off today than twelve months ago; this measure hasn't been this high since 1Q2011. 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 percent of affluent surveyed feel the country is now moving in the right direction, up 15 percentage points from last quarter," Danziger reports.
Rising affluent consumer confidence is sparking a pick up in spending on luxuries, with these categories posting the strongest quarter-over-quarter increase:
- Luxury clothing and apparel, with spending up 95.2 percent over second quarter;
- Luxury kitchenware and cooks' tools, up 83.1 percent;
- Luxury beauty, cosmetics, fragrances, up 75.4 percent;
- Luxury dining, up 67.7 percent; and
- Luxury fashion accessories, up 52.2 percent.
Unity Marketing has been calculating the LCI since first quarter 2004 based upon five key measures of luxury consumer confidence including their expectations for future spending on luxury, their personal financial conditions and their overall assessment of the economy as a whole, in surveys conducted every three months among over 1,200 affluent luxury consumers. This quarter's luxury tracking survey, conducted from October 9-15, 2012, took the measure of 1,289 luxury consumers (average income $290.6k; avg. age 44 years; median net worth $797k.)