At Least Affluents Are Optimistic

According to the recently released Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer, affluent optimism in the U.S. economy, and in their own futures, has risen significantly. In February, 43% of Affluents were optimistic about the U.S. economy, up from 40% in December 2012, and 34% in October 2012.

In contrast, only 36% described themselves as pessimistic in February 2013. In addition, 52% now believe they personally will be better off in 12 months, up from 41% in December 2012.

The survey defines “Affluent” as adults living in households with at least $100,000 in annual household income. Approximately 20% of the U.S., Affluents hold 69% of the privately held net worth in America, and are vitally important for many marketplace categories including luxury, automotive, financial, technology, and travel.

Dr. Stephen Kraus, SVP & Chief Insights Officer, concludes: “Affluent optimism has risen in 2013, buoyed by the performance of stock and housing markets, as well as perceived improvements in the economy as a whole, and the job market in particular.”

The Barometer found that luxury spending among Affluents will likely remain at current levels, but shows significant growth potential among Ultra Affluents, the 2-4% of Americans with at least $250K+ household income. Ultra Affluent spending on luxury shows particularly strong growth potential in categories related to travel, apparel, accessories, watches and jewelry.

The study reveals that media multi-tasking is now a way of life among Affluents, who tend to be early adopters of the latest technology, including tablets and smartphones. Key media multi- tasking findings among Affluents include:

  • 27% multi-task “almost constantly,” and an additional 37% multi-task “regularly”
  • 66% agree that “multi-tasking helps me be more productive”
  • 51% have engaged with social media about a television program while watching that program
  • 58% of smartphone owners “regularly” or “almost constantly” use their smartphone while watching TV, and 66% would find it “extremely” or “very” difficult to live without their smartphone
  • 53% of tablet owners “regularly” or “almost constantly” use their tablets while watching TV, and 33% would find it “extremely” or “very” difficult to live without their tablet

The February 2013 Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer was conducted online in February 2013. The data were weighted to reflect U.S. Census data.

For more information from Ipsos, please visit here.

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