April, 2014 – This article from Appliance Magazine.com discusses the results of the AARC Spring 2014 Survey showing that affluent consumers are planning to increase spending for major home appliance items and home remodeling. (http://www.appliancemagazine.com/news.php?article=1740114&zone=0&first=1)

Affluent consumers are planning to increase spending for major items, including home remodeling, according to the American Affluence Research Center, whose new survey results show strong improvement in affluent/luxury consumers’ 12 month outlook for the economy, the stock market, and personal wealth.

The survey results showed the index for future business conditions at 117, up 12 points from the survey in the Fall of 2013. The index for change in the stock market was at 119, up 13 points from the survey in the Fall of 2013. Both the index levels are also “well ahead” of the Spring of 2013.

Index values range from 0 to 200, with a neutral response of 100 indicating equal positive and negative feedback.

The ACE 12-month Economic Outlook Index—a composite index that averages the 12- month outlook for business conditions, the stock market, and household income—was up 13 points from the Fall 2013 survey. The rise puts the index into positive territory at 109. This was the highest reading for this index since Spring 2012’s 126.

The survey also showed a big improvement in the measure of those without plans for major expenditures, which had improved markedly to 45%. This measure is now at pre-recession levels.

The measure of affluents planning to defer or reduce expenditures during the next 12 months was at 36%–up 8 percentage points from Spring 2013 and up 1 point from the Fall of 2013.

The survey is based on a projectable national sample of 330 respondents representative of 11.4 million U.S. households with a minimum $800,000 net worth. The respondents reported:
• average annual income of $268,000
• average net worth of $3.1 million
• average value of primary residence: $1.1 million