In a Rough Economy, Luxury Spending is on the Rise

A recent study shows people are looking to splurge on luxuries in a recession.

cashAs many appear to be continually affected by the dwindling economy, it seems some people are dealing with the hardships of a never-ending recession by spending more money, on luxury items no less.

According to Time, 1,416 Americans in the 10% income bracket were surveyed by American Express Publishing and the Harrison Group for the 2013 Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America, and asked about “their spending habits and lifestyle decisions” in a currently unstable economy.

“Despite the clear consensus from economists that the recession is over, affluent and wealthy consumers do not believe that a real national recovery — neither economic nor emotional — has occurred,” says Jim Taylor, vice-chairman of the Harrison Group.

In fact, according to the survey, 76% of the 1,416 people analyzed for this study said that they didn’t believe the recession was over at all. But that won’t stop their need for pure luxury when it comes to jewelry, travel, cars and electronics, says Time.

While “there has been a notable rise in wealthy Americans expected to spend more on luxury hotels and resorts (up 17%), home entertainment and electronics (up 17%), watches (up 10%), and automobiles (up 18%),” they’re only able to do so because “the mean net worth of households in the top 7% rose by 28%” between 2009 – 2011. In all, the Harrison Group study says it’s not that Americans are spending more, it’s that they’re splurging more.

When it comes to things like the legendary Harley Davidson motorcycle, CNN Money reports “the company forecasts sales of around 250,000 bikes this year, up from 223,023 in 2009.” And, “likewise, luxury automakers such as Bentley and Porsche haven been reporting rising sales in late 2012 and early 2013.”

Even the cost of primping the upper echelon of teenagers has hit a new high as “the average prom attendee” is said to be $1,139. But the most awkward fact about the want to spend in a recession is that less affluent families are the ones looking to spend more when it comes the rites-of-passage events such as prom, spending a whopping $1,245 per child this year.

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