This blog has been created to provide an area for economics students to read about how economics impacts daily life. It is especially useful for students to understand the application of macroeconomics as communicated through the media and governmental websites.

This online resource has been set up for educational purposes.All rights are reserved by the various websites.

For further clarification, please email

Business Times - 19 Oct 2009

Rich continue to splurge online


IT pays to advertise when times are bad - and an effective way to do so seems to be through the Internet.

A survey has found that rich people continue to splurge on luxury goods despite the downturn - and that Internet users spend more than those who are less IT-savvy.

The study by research firm Synovate polled some 20,245 rich people across 12 cities and found that they appeared more ready to spend in the third quarter last year - when markets went into a tailspin - than in previous quarters.

For example, 74 per cent of those polled in Q3 last year said they were willing to pay extra for quality, while 41 per cent were prepared to consider new brands - up from 68 per cent and 36 per cent in previous quarters.

In Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the rich now own more designer clothes and leather goods than a year ago. Car ownership in Singapore has also gone up, Synovate said. Some 67.1 per cent of the locals polled now have their own wheels - up from 60.8 per cent a year ago.

Similar patterns were seen with IT products such as laptops/notebooks and LCD/plasma televisions.

For example, ownership of notebooks in the region has jumped from 40.8 per cent last year to 48 per cent this year.

Some 57 per cent of rich people in Singapore own a plasma TV, with a further 9.5 per cent intending to buy one in the next 12 months.

'It is obvious that affluent consumers do not want to give up their quality of life,' Synovate said. 'The top places with the highest increase of designer clothes and leather goods ownership are Singapore, followed by Taipei and Hong Kong.'

Across the region, Synovate also found that the rich who are Internet-savvy own more products than those who are not.

For example, 36 per cent of active Internet users go on one or more leisure trips, compared with 14 per cent of those who are less active online.

Some 22 per cent of active Internet users own a luxury watch, versus 12 per cent among those who are not as savvy.