Consumer Confidence May Be Down, but Discretionary Spending is Up

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

American Express announced results of its Business Insights Spend Trends reports of US Cardholder spending for Q2, providing hints about the direction of consumer spending during the tentative economic recovery. Reports of the travel, luxury retail, dining and entertainment sectors, plus regional breakdowns were released. Luxury retail was reported up 9% in all sub-categories mentioned, but some of the most revealing findings related to dining patterns:

In the Q2 2010 Spend Trends Report: Dining & Entertainment, American Express Business Insights reveals that ultra-affluent consumers nationwide increased spending in quick service restaurants by 24%, compared to a 12% increase for this group in fine dining spending. When compared to smaller spending increases in other categories, it is interesting for the food and beverage industry to note that less expensive restaurants have caught the attention of this particular consumer group.

This new budget consciousness may not extend to airline tickets, however:

The Q2 2010 Spend Trends Report: Travel illustrates that business class airfare saw an overall 63% increase in spending by US consumers, with the ultra-affluent group spending 114% more on the front of the plane during the second quarter of 2010 over the year prior. Spend on first class tickets saw no increase year-over-year.

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/consumer-confidence-may-be-down-but-discretionary-spending-is-up-2010-09-22?reflink=MW_news_stmp