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Report: Discretionary spending up


New York City Consumer confidence may be down, but discretionary spending is up, according to American Express Business Insights, which on Wednesday launched its series of Q2 2010 Business Insights Spend Trends reports.

Among the findings in the Luxury Retail Report: spending increased by at least 9% in each luxury retail category analyzed: furniture and home furnishings; apparel and accessories; jewelry; and department stores. Home furnishings performed the strongest -- despite a weak housing market -- suggesting that homeowners are focusing on their current interiors until the real estate market improves.

The Dining & Entertainment Report reveals that ultra-affluent consumers nationwide increased spending in quick-service restaurants by 24%, compared with a 12% increase for this group in fine dining spending. When compared with smaller spending increases in other categories, it is interesting to note that less expensive restaurants have caught the attention of this particular consumer group.

Regional data revealed that several cities saw spending increases year-over-year for the second quarter in a broad group of categories, such as lodging, airline, travel, luxury apparel, housewares and furniture. Most notably, the city of San Francisco as a whole increased overall spend by 36% across all categories, higher than Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.

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