Tuesday, July 29, 2003

What's the Buzz?

Local rich upbeat about economy

By Jeff McKinney
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Wealthy Greater Cincinnati residents are more bullish than most Americans that the U.S. economy is getting stronger and improving. But they also plan to spend and invest less than their peers nationally, a new survey reveals.

Despite the sluggish stock market in recent months, Cincinnati posted a 50 score in having a more positive outlook about current economic conditions, versus a 44 for the affluent nationally and 49 for their brethren in the Midwest.

Cincinnatians also are tighter with their money. For instance, 30 percent say they plan to take vacation requiring airfare in the next three months, versus 57 percent nationally. Sixteen percent of Cincinnatians plan to do home repairs, versus 43 percent nationally.

The findings are from the McDonald Financial Group Affluent Confidence Index, a survey of people with investable assets of $500,000 or more or personal incomes of $150,000 or more. Four hundred individuals were surveyed nationally and 200 more each in Cincinnati and upstate New York, two of McDonald Financial's key markets. McDonald Financial is the investment banking arm of KeyCorp, parent of Key Bank.

The survey's margin of error was plus or minus 4.9 percentage points nationally and 7.1 percentage points for Cincinnati.

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