A populist might ask, what is the point of having upper-income consumers if they don't spend their cash when the economy needs it most? BIGresearch polling conducted last month shows respondents with household income of $100,000-plus are more apt than people in general to be planning some big-ticket purchases in the next six months. As you can see in the chart here, though, the differences are relatively modest.
A rocky stock market-plus a housing market that looks capable of getting even worse before it gets better-has left well-to-do people feeling they're not so well-to-do after all. Thus, 34 percent of the survey's $100,000-plusers (along with 41 percent of adults in general) report having become "more budget conscious" during the past six months. So irresponsible of them!