Report: Affluent shoppers increasingly optimistic about economy

New York -- A report released Monday by Ipsos found that affluent optimism in the U.S. economy rose significantly in February.

According to Ipsos MediaCT’s February 2013 Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer – which defines affluent as at least $100,000 in annual household income – 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.

“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,” said Dr. Stephen Kraus, SVP and chief insights officer, Ipsos.

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.