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Where Luxury Spending Is Bouncing Back

Shopper in Beverly Hills
Reed Saxon/AP

Quick, pick the city where luxury spending is showing the strongest growth.

And the answer is... Detroit?

Given the constraints many of the rest of us are under, it's reassuring to know rich people are still doing their part for the economy by spending money. The Wall Street Journal's Chris Binkley took a look at where luxury spending was the strongest, and uncovered some surprising results.

Data from American Express showed that Detroit was the city where luxury spending grew the fastest in the first quarter, up 18% from a year earlier. All those electric cars and bailouts must have automobile executives feeling better.

New Yorkers are still reluctant to reach for their wallets, with luxury spending down 7.7% compared to a year earlier. Of the nation's big cities, Atlanta had the weakest showing, down 18.2%.

Binkley also learned that southerners buy more white, green and pink compared to residents in other regions. And bearing out the stereotypes of thinner people living on the coasts, more women there bought size 0 tops compared to women in the heartland.

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