August spending confidence suggests that consumer goods face a spending letup in the near term focused in homegoods categories and among Millennials.
The letup may be brief, however, if August represents only a pause in the surge in confidence to spend among Millennials’ evident since the Spring. That surge has been a key driver of a recent stretch of healthy retail sales gains.
Outside of homegoods and Millennials, the near-term spending outlook is more buoyant among other categories and Gen X households—and remains on a flat trend among Boomers.
See below for more on what the latest confidence data suggest by category. For the longer-term trends, see the consumer goods outlook at this link.
- Homegoods. The threat to the near-term spending outlook in homegoods categories was clearly spread across generations from Millennials to Boomers in August. As a result, the threat may persist going forward.
- Clothing / Electronics / Leisure goods. Confidence to spend on these categories held up relatively well in August compared with other categories because they held up best among Millennials and Gen X households, who are key spenders in the categories.
- Food & grocery / Health & beauty. Spending confidence in these categories held up relative worse in August—outside of homegoods—because they held up worst among Millennials and Gen X, who are key spenders in the categories.
These are among the takeaways from data through August from the Spending Confidence Index™, which is the proprietary index of consumer sentiment created by MacroSavvy™ based on data from Prosper Insights and Analytics™.
For more background about the Spending Confidence Index™ and its components, the white paper at this link explains why the new index is an improvement over existing measures of confidence.
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