SOURCE: American Affluence Research Center

American Affluence Research Center

April 23, 2013 09:03 ET

Most Affluent Will Maintain Spending Despite Higher Income Taxes

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Apr 23, 2013) - Most affluent consumers will maintain spending despite expecting lower income due to higher taxes according to a new survey by the American Affluence Research Center of the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households that account for almost half of total consumer spending. 

Given the slight decline in overall retail sales in March, this is good news for businesses targeting the affluent consumers represented by the survey, the 23rd in a series of twice-yearly tracking studies of the wealthiest 11.4 million households, based on net worth, which has been demonstrated to be a more stable indicator of wealth than income.

Intentions to purchase any of the eight major expenditure items and the indexes for changes in spending for the 17 products and services tracked by these studies are about the same as in the fall 2012 survey. Over half of the affluent consumers say they do not plan to reduce or defer expenditures during the next 12 months.

Expected changes in income and net worth during the next 12 months clearly correlate with spending plans. For example the average index for changes in spending is about 20% higher among those expecting no decline in income or net worth as compared to those expecting a decline.

Over 75% expect their net worth to be the same or higher in 12 months, while 60% expect their income to be the same or higher.

While mildly optimistic in their outlook for business conditions and the stock market, affluent consumers seem to be more positive than the general public, as evidenced by the decline in the Conference Board's March Consumer Confidence Index.

Highlights of the American Affluence Research Center survey can be viewed at The survey is based on a national sample of 463 respondents representative of households with a minimum $800,000 net worth. The respondents reported an average annual income of $309,000 and average net worth of $3.1 million.

Key findings from the study include:

  • 80% of affluent consumers own one or more mobile devices
  • iPhone is named over twice as often as the combined total of others
  • Among the 72% who participate in social media, Facebook is a slight favorite
  • Less than half of social media participants subscribe to receive communications from a business
  • Online purchases of 15 listed products is higher than in a 2003 survey though online research of the same products is relatively unchanged

About Us: Established in 2001 and with an exclusive focus on the affluent market, The American Affluence Research Center ( conducts the original and only continuous twice-yearly tracking studies of the mood and future spending plans of the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households based on net worth. AARC has become a recognized authority and a credible source of reliable insight and marketing information about the values, lifestyles, attitudes, and purchasing behavior of America's most affluent consumers.

Contact Information

  • A complimentary copy of the 71 page/58 exhibit report is available to the media.

    Ron Kurtz
    (770) 740-2200
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