The total buying power of the U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adult population for 2012 is projected to be $790 billion, according to an updated analysis by Witeck Communications.
The revised current year estimate is somewhat lower than an earlier five-year trend forecast published in 2007. The update adjusts the earlier estimate because the U.S. economy as whole, hit with a recession, experienced slower gains in total buying power.
Bob Witeck of Witeck Communications said, “Buying power projections may be seen as an accepted business measure for companies and policy decision-makers. This estimate offers us a reasonable snapshot of the projected yearly economic contributions of America’s diverse gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population even in our gradually stirring economy.”
Witeck has worked since 1993 on counseling and marketing Fortune 500 companies in the LGBT community.
He emphasized this week that buying power is “not the same as affluence or wealth and “there is no hint that same-sex households are more affluent than others, which is little more than a stereotype. We have seen research from economic research that strongly suggests that gay men may earn slightly less than their heterosexual counterparts, for instance.”
Buying power, in the research, is another term for “disposable personal income,” or DPI, which economists define as the total after-tax income available to an individual to spend on personal consumption, personal interest payments or savings. According to economists, today this equals roughly 86 percent of income in the United States.
LGBT purchasing power is calculated by allocating a proportion of aggregate disposable personal income to the estimated population of LGBT-self identified adults.
For 2012, thus far, the aggregate U.S. disposable personal income appears on an incremental pace to reach $11.8 trillion in 2012 – and lower than originally forecast in 2007.