This morning, the Commerce Department released fresh economic data to Wall Street showing that consumer spending and incomes in the US flattened in June. But while those in the middle class had a stale month financially, the uber-class is still rocking and rolling.
3) Mercedes-Benz is Selling a Record Number of Cars this Year
Apparently, more people than just Lorenzo are rolling in a brand-new Benzo. In the first six months of this year, Mercedes-Benz has delivered 25% more new vehicles in the US than the first six months of last year. This huge uptick in sales has been driven by an increasing lust for the premium carmaker’s most expensive models. And this lust is strong. Mercedes head of sales and marketing, Joachim Schmidt, said, “We are also in an excellent position to do well in the months ahead and plan to continue Mercedes-Benz’ success with a significant increase in the third quarter.” Doesn’t sound like Mercedes is as depressed as many economists.
2) Starbucks is Selling More Grande Frappouccinos to the Irrationally Exuberant
When you have disposable income (or no idea how to budget), a $5 coffee seems sane. Enter the antithesis of McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) –Starbucks (NYSE: SBUX) — and their mission to get customers who want to spend bucks like the stars. Last quarter, the luxury java peddler increased revenues 9% and CEO Howard Schultz said the brand’s acolytes are piling back into stores. If the entire country was worried about bread lines or food stamps, millions more people surely wouldn’t be paying 2-10 times more money for something they could get at Dunkin Donuts or brew at home. But when you are part of the 80% of the population with a job, you can make it back tomorrow.
1) Consumers are Back Showcasing Uber-Status Symbols like Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton
When people do silly things like the lady above, they have lots of extra money. In this case, global fashion powerhouse Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton (LVMH) is back selling mind-numbingly expensive bags for everything from luxury safaris to a simple fueling at Starbucks. Sales of LVMH brands in the US were “strong” across flaunt-it-like-you’ve-got-it brands such as Luis Vuitton, Don Perignon, Fendi, Christian Dior, and Givenchy. In contrast with how the middle and under classes are spending, it’s safe to say the uber-class is still rocking and rolling.