American Express report: Luxury spending tightens during holidays

New York City -- A report released Wednesday by American Express Business Insights found that the more recent increases in luxury retail spending is tightening in the waning days of 2010.

According to third quarter 2010 Spend Sights Report, which analyzes year-over-year trends across the furniture and home furnishings, apparel and accessories, jewelry and department store luxury categories, after strong increases on luxury apparel and accessories in March and April -- 19% and 21% respectively -- spending in the remainder of 2010 increased by much smaller amounts showing that consumers and businesses alike tightened their purse strings to preparation for the holiday season.

Overall, consumer spending increased 12% on furniture and home furnishings as many opted to upgrade their current homes rather than risk the unstable housing market. Small and large businesses, however, continued to hold back and decreased spending in this category by 2% and 7% respectively.

Department store spending showed a healthy increase across all segments. Consumers led with a 9% increase while small businesses were close behind with an 8% increase. Large businesses followed with a 7% increase.

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