2017 Outlook Held Back by Generation Gap

The consumer outlook in early 2017 continues to be held back by slipping confidence among Millennials—which is offsetting surging confidence to spend among Boomers.

Further restraining the outlook in February was a slight slip in confidence among Gen X, which has been the key consumer segment driving spending since the recession.
The Spending Confidence Index™ by Generation
These are the latest signs from the update of the Spending Confidence Index™, which is the proprietary index created by MacroSavvy™ based on data from Prosper Insights and Analytics™.

In terms of the February data from the Index by generation and category:

  • Spending confidence trendsMillennials. Their continued slippage in spending confidence was evident across all categories except for food and grocery. Their weak confidence also was focused among working-class Millennials.
  • Gen X. Their slippage in spending confidence was evident among working class and upper-income Gen X. Their confidence to spend let up most in the clothing category and held up best in electronics.
  • Boomers. Spending confidence increased across Boomer income groups and across product categories in February. Their category pickup was most pronounced in leisure goods.
  • By Category. The net impact across generations showed slippage in spending confidence focused in the clothing and health and beauty categories. The pickup among other categories was strongest in electronics.

See the scorecard for a summary of the spending confidence measures.

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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