A record low level of spending by affluent consumers for major home appliances is suggested by the most recent survey in a series of twice-yearly studies that began in Spring 2002.
Negative attitudes about the current economy and the economic outlook for the next 12 months are contributing to plans for reducing major home appliance expenditures by affluent consumers during the next year, according to the Affluent Market Tracking Study #15 conducted by the American Affluence Research Center.
In the Spring 2009 survey of the wealthiest 10% of all U.S. households, spending plans for major home appliances during the next 12 months, in comparison to their spending for such items during the past 12 months, are to be increased by 9% of the affluent consumers and to be reduced by 39% of the affluent. The remainder (52%) expects to spend the same for major home appliances during the next year as in the past year.
The survey respondents indicated a negative 12 month outlook for business conditions and personal household income. They also reported declines in their net worth, as a result of substantial declines in the value of their home and their investments/savings during the past two years. Together, these factors have contributed to a general attitude toward reducing or deferring expenditures in all areas. The intentions to reduce expenses for major home appliances are consistent with the overall mood of the affluent market.
The survey is representative of the population of the most affluent 11.2 million households in the U.S. that account for almost 40% of total personal income and two-thirds of the personal wealth of all Americans.
The 640 men and women included in the national survey have an average annual household income of $290,000, an average primary residence value of $1.2 million, an average net worth of $3.1 million, and average investable assets of $1.4 million. This survey of the affluent market has a maximum margin of error of five percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
These surveys track how affluent consumers assess current business conditions and their 12-month outlook for the economy, the stock market, personal household income, and their spending plans for different products and services that include major appliances, home computers, furniture/furnishings, home entertainment equipment, casual and upscale dining out, entertainment, recreation, domestic and international travel, designer and non-designer apparel, collectibles, fine jewelry, and political and charitable contributions.
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