SOURCE: Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts

November 02, 2009 13:17 ET

Anticipated Turnaround of U.S. Economy Marks Gradual Return to Optimism for Nation's Affluent Consumers

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 2, 2009) - With the widely anticipated turnaround of the U.S. economy looming, the unbridled pessimism that has afflicted affluent American consumers since the onset of the Great Recession is dwindling. In its place is a sense of gradually returning optimism, according to The Affluent Consumer Market in the U.S., the latest report by leading market research publisher Packaged Facts.

Notably, the study, based on data from Experian Simmons National Consumer Study, reveals that half of affluent consumers have previously claimed to be worse off financially than they were 12 months ago. The aftermath of life in the new economy created a radical shift in the thinking and behavior of affluent consumers, who increasingly favored belt-tightening over extravagance and risk taking.

Economic analysts and social commentators remain divided in their views about whether the Great Recession has caused a permanent change in spending habits on the part of American consumers -- be they affluent or otherwise. Nevertheless, Packaged Facts predicts the affluent cohort will continue to wield considerable economic clout for the foreseeable future as the returning optimism leads to increased, but careful spending.

"Although the affluent may feel less wealthy than before, as a group they remain in a privileged position in relative terms and represent the most attractive opportunity for marketers in the American consumer economy," says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. "Affluent household income is nearly four times larger than that of non-affluent households, and the average affluent consumer unit spends nearly three times more than those with an income of $70,000 and less."

In 2008 affluent households -- single person households with a $75,000+ income and multiple person households with a $100,000+ income -- made up 22% of all households, yet were responsible for generating 52% of aggregate household income in the U.S., or a total of $4 trillion. Packaged Facts projects that the number of affluent households will grow from 26 million in 2009 to around 29 million in 2014, with aggregate income reaching $5 trillion by the end of the forecast period.

The Affluent Consumer Market in the U.S. provides a timely, in-depth analysis of how affluent consumers are responding to the most profound economic crisis since the Great Depression. The report uses multi-year data from Simmons studies to track affluent consumer attitudes and behavior from the years preceding the onset of the Great Recession into 2009. Besides an in-depth demographic profile of affluent consumers, the report assesses the size of the affluent market today and projects its growth through 2014. For further information, please visit:

About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. To learn more, visit: Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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