Atlanta -- Among the affluent households, the average expenditure for December holiday gifts in 2013 is estimated to be $2,175 down 2.8% from 2012, according to a new survey of the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households by the American Affluence Research Center. However, affluent households spent in 2012 almost 7% more than they had anticipated in the 2012 survey, supporting the premise that people often tend to spend more for gifts than they had planned.
The expenditure per affluent household for holiday gifts is about four times that of all households as estimated by the National Retail Federation, which has forecast a 3.9% increase in total retail holiday gift sales for this year.
Some of the highlights of the special topics covered in the survey include: 89% of the women and 72% of the men expect to receive a holiday gift this year. The most popular items on the gift wish list are some form of "currency" (a gift card/certificate or money/check) among 47% of the women and 43% of the men. Clothing is the second most named item among women (40%) and men (33%).
The assessment of current business conditions by the top 10% of households is now 40 points above the fall 2012 index. This is the highest reading for this index since fall 2007 and indicates good potential for increased spending by affluent and luxury consumers.
The index for future business conditions and the index for change in the stock market are both in positive territory, according to Ron Kurtz, president of the American Affluence Research Center, who observed that "the affluent have a modestly better outlook for the future than the general public."