It’s not exactly an economic indicator, but it does underline how rich people are making do amid financial uncertainty.
Ferrari, the maker of superfast luxury cars, on Thursday reported that its profit rose by 13% last year and said it expects even better sales this year.
The company cited “persistently high demand” for its very expensive vehicles, which average as much as $400,000.
Ferrari shipped a record 13,221 cars last year, up nearly 19% from a year before.
While this speaks to the popularity of the automaker’s brand, it also reflects the growing economic chasm between haves and have-nots.
Millions of Americans are now getting by paycheck to paycheck amid the highest consumer prices in decades and the possibility of a recession.
Yet wealthy people have amassed so much money in recent years, they have plenty of cash on hand to purchase high-end sports cars intended primarily to address men’s midlife crises.
I reported recently that the wealthiest 1% of people worldwide have accumulated close to two-thirds of all new wealth created, according to the nonprofit Oxfam.
It found that $42 trillion in new wealth has been created since 2020. Of that amount, $26 trillion, or 63%, was amassed by the top 1% of the ultra-rich.
The remaining 99% of us pocketed just $16 trillion of new wealth.
“A billionaire gained roughly $1.7 million for every $1 of new global wealth earned by a person in the bottom 90%,” the organization concluded.
This is nothing new. The richest 1% has scored about half of all new wealth created over the past 10 years.
For Ferrari, it’s like Christmas.
“Despite a complex global macroscenario, we look ahead with great confidence, encouraged by the many signs and achievements of an evolving Ferrari,” CEO Benedetto Vigna said in a statement.
“All this is possible thanks to the collaboration, will to progress, continuous learning, focus and confidence that set our people apart.”
Well, OK. But it’s also due in large part to people of means being keen to expand their toy chests.
Nobody needs a Ferrari.
The fact that sales are climbing despite that complex global macroscenario (as Vigna put it) says more about buyers than it does about the company.
And the message for the masses is that rich people just wanna have fun.