SINGAPORE: Affluent consumers in Asia Pacific are continuing to purchase luxury goods ranging from premium watches to plasma TVs, and spending levels look set to carry on growing over the next 12 months, according to a new study from Synovate.

The research firm conducted a poll of 20,245 wealthy adults in 11 markets in the region, including Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

It found that ownership levels of laptop or notebook computers among its sample rose from 40.8% at the end of the second quarter of 2008 to 48% during the same period this year.

Furthermore, 12% of participants stated an intention to purchase such a device during the next year, a total that was largely stable when compared with the corresponding study conducted by the research firm in 2008.

Similarly, the number of contributors possessing a digital camera increased from 58.7% in 2008 to 63.5% in 2009, Synovate said.

Some 36.5% of wealthy consumers also have at least one LCD/plasma television set, up 4.3% year-on-year, while 9.5% would like to acquire one before the middle of 2010.

The number of affluent shoppers owning apparel or leather goods worth more than $1,000 (€669; £609) per item climbed from 4.8% to 11.3% in Singapore, the fastest-growing country on this measure.

Taipei also registered an increase from 8% to 9.6%, with Hong Kong posting an uptick of 1.2%, from 15.8% to 17%, in all.

Some 63% of the panel had a web-enabled mobile phone, up by 3.3% on an annual basis, with 10.4% using a hybrid/PDA handset, up 2.4%. 

Those contributors with such handsets said they accessed the internet via these devices 26.4% of the time, compared with logging on to the web using a PC of laptop for the remainder.

Synovate also found that those affluent shoppers who more regularly surfed the web typically possessed a greater number of luxury goods.

For example, ownership levels of luxury watches and hybrid mobile phones were 8% higher among more "internet-savvy elites" when compared with "non-internet using elites." This figure rose to 22% for LCD and plasma televisions, and 30% for digital cameras.

With regard to media use, 7% of respondents said they had watched a television programme on their mobile phone in the last month, while 63% had visited a social networking site during the same timeframe.

Data sourced from Synovate; additional content by Warc staff