Survey: Only the Most Affluent Increasing Buying This Year

Only the most affluent will increase their buying this year, according to the 2012 Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America, produced by American Express Publishing and Harrison Group.

The survey, which queried 625 wealthy and affluent U.S. households, found that gift giving among the wealthy will decrease 3.4 percent. However, the top 10 percent will increase their gift spend 21.9 percent. The other 90 percent of affluent households plan to spend 10.9 percent less.

The survey found that 26 percent of respondents plan to purchase jewelry or watches.

“Luxury retailers can take comfort in the fact that 39 percent of the top 1 percent plan to splurge on gifts,” said Cara David, senior vice president of corporate marketing and integrated media at American Express Publishing, in a statement. “Women especially, are also looking to purchase gifts for themselves in categories like fashion, jewelry, and accessories.”