Those Who Have Money Are Spending It: Analysis

Ad Age, Tuesday, January 24, 2006 11:33 AM
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Here’s a bit of good news for marketers: people who have money are spending it. An analysis of statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor by American Demographics revealed that the top fifth of households accounted for 41 percent of the increase in spending from the recession year of 2001 through 2004, and there’s no reason to believe the trend was any different in 2005. There is a question as to whether the pace of spending growth will continue in 2006, for spending is linked to the now-cooling housing market. Up to this point, the rich bet the house money and won big, according to the analysis.  Most households (91 percent) in the top fifth are homeowners, but just 18 percent own their homes outright. In 2004, the top fifth accounted for 48 percent of mortgage payments. They had enough cash (or credit) left over to buy 48 percent of furniture, 38 percent of big appliances and 33 percent of consumer electronics. The upper-income set has an urge to splurge on virtually everything. This group accounted for 57 percent of consumer spending on “other lodging” (including hotels and vacation homes); 51 percent of fees and admissions (sporting events, movies, concerts, club dues); 40 percent of apparel; 39 percent of newspapers, magazines and books; and 38 percent of restaurant spending.

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