(Bloomberg) — The nearly rich aren't spending nearly enough, a trend that's weighing on growth.

Six years after the worst recession since the 1930s, Americans who earn $100,000 to $249,999 a year still are "making very careful decisions" when it comes to discretionary purchases, said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing Inc., a luxury research company based in Stevens, Pennsylvania. "That's smart for them, but it's certainly not good for the economy."

These consumers — Danziger calls them HENRYs, or high earners not rich yet — are "feeling squeezed" primarily because their spending power is curbed by sluggish income gains, she said. They spent 10 percent less on luxury goods and services in the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2013, according to figures from Unity Marketing.

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