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Fewer people feel guilty about wealth

Bloomberg News / April 28, 2010

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WASHINGTON — Fewer wealthy Americans feel guilty about making luxury-goods purchases and more of them are proud to be recognized as rich, a survey showed.

Forty-five percent of those polled felt guilt buying those products compared with 54 percent a year ago, according to a survey released yesterday by American Express Publishing and research company Harrison Group.

Forty-two percent said they liked when others saw them as being wealthy, up from 30 percent.

The changed attitudes are among factors that will help spur spending on luxury goods and services by 6 percent to 8 percent this year, the companies predicted. Categories that will see gains are automobiles, travel, and children’s clothing, they said.

The findings were based on questionnaires completed online by 1,910 respondents with average income of $520,000. The margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points.