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Online PR News – 28-December-2014 – Hong Kong – Physical fitness spending increases 7 percent; Personal and professional development lessons and classes up 11 percent. Home improvement, travel and apparel spending is on the rise

Consumers showed caution in their spending, according to new data from the Klarman Securities Freedom Lifestyle Index. Overall spending remained flat compared to last year. The Klarman Securities Freedom Lifestyle Index is a quarterly barometer of consumer trends based on aggregated cardholder spending data.
"We see a continued rise in the 'cautiously optimistic' consumer," said Phil Chin, general manager, Klarman Securities Freedom. "As consumers keep an eye on the economy and its performance, we're observing 'wait-and-see' behavior in their spending patterns. Consumers are taking a breather on retail purchases and instead are investing in personal improvement areas - education, exercise and home upgrades."
Consumers spent seven percent more on physical fitness, including at sport trips, as well as 14 percent more on sporting goods. Personal and professional improvement was also at the top of the agenda, with an 11 percent spending increase in lesson and class spending.
"Every year is a great time to renew focus on personal and professional goals," said Chin. "Whether it's getting some exercise, or learning a hobby, sport or language, we saw consumers prioritize their spending to achieve the goals they set out for themselves."
Moreover, consumers significantly increased travel spending, with hotels (23 percent), rental cars (24 percent), and airlines (12 percent) all rising, compared to the previous month.
"Our data indicates that consumers are already starting to plan their summer vacations and invest in home improvement projects, both of which usually pick up in the second quarter, which may be an indicator of their confidence in the long-term economy," concluded Chin.

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