Remember when China, Brazil and other emerging markets were the future of luxury?
They still are—but a much more distant future. When it comes to current growth, the global hot spot for high-priced luxury sales is the U.S.
According to new research from Departures magazine and Ledbury Research, which surveyed top luxury CEOs, North America was listed as the most important market for growth over the next five years. East Asia ranked second, followed by Western Europe, Eastern Europe and then Central and South America.
Fully 89 percent expected North America to be the most important contributor to growth.
"The U.S. is really the focus for many of these CEOs," said Steven DeLuca, senior vice president and publisher of Departures, part of American Express Publishing. "I think they're putting less emphasis on China than they might have been in the past."
(Read more: China's 2% account for third of world luxe sales)
Granted, luxury companies aren't pulling up stakes (or Birkin bags) from China. Chinese luxury consumers continue to boost sales of many of the top luxury companies. Coach, for instance, which had weak sales in the U.S., had double-digit growth in China in the third quarter.
And the Chinese luxury consumer continues to shop around the world, accounting for a significant portion of luxury sales in Europe—especially Paris.
But the American wealthy are likely to be the biggest driver of the $260 billion luxury goods industry in the coming years. Luxury CEOs expect sales to grow an average of 9 percent over the next 12 months.