The assessment of current business conditions is now 40 points above the Fall 2012 index in a new survey of the wealthiest 10 percent of U.S. households by the American Affluence Research Center.

This is the highest reading for this Affluent index since Fall 2007 and indicates good potential for increased spending by affluent and luxury consumers. It could also be significant for the rest of the economy since the high-net worth citizens account for almost half of all consumer spending.

“The affluent have a modestly better outlook for the future than the general public,” said Ron Kurtz, president of the research center.

About 80 percent of those affluents surveyed expect their net worth to be the same or higher in the coming months, while two-thirds expect their income to be the same or higher. Almost two-thirds say they do not plan to defer or reduce expenditures during the next 12 months, which represents an improvement of 7 percentage points from Spring 2013 survey.

Looking to the upcoming shopping season, the average expenditure for December holiday gifts by affluents in 2013 is estimated to be $2,175, a decline of 2.8 percent from 2012. However, it appears they spent almost 7 percent more in 2012 than they had anticipated in the 2012 survey, supporting the premise that people often tend to spend more for gifts than they had planned.

You can see at this link how Nordstrom’s holds the highest rating among upscale brand names among affluents in terms of owning or experiencing the products over 5 years.