US Millennial Affluents Expect Double-Digit Increase in Discretionary Spending

May 26, 2017

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Household Income | Real Estate | Retail & E-Commerce | Spending Trends | Travel & Hospitality | Youth & Gen X

Affluent Millennials are far outpacing their generational counterparts in discretionary spending growth, reports YouGov’s Affluent Perspective 2017 Global Study. Affluents in other age brackets, such as Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, plan to spend less this year than in the previous year, while Millennials expect to spent 12% more.Â

Overall, spending by US affluents (defined as at least $150k in income) is expected to grow by 1% to a total of $335 billion, with about half of that going to experiences such as dining and leisure travel.

Boomers appear to be the dominant forces in leisure travel. While Boomers account for 37% of total Affluent discretionary expenditures (compared to 31% for Gen Xers, 27% for Millennials, and 5% for Matures), their recreational travel spending accounts for an outsized 44% of total expenditures in this area (versus 30% for Gen Xers, 18% for Millennials and 8% for Matures).

Relatively higher spending in travel among Boomers doesn’t come as a surprise: an Ipsos survey found that many older Americans seek to spend their retirement traveling and participating in other leisure activities.

Meanwhile, Millennial affluents’ spending patterns diverge from those of other generations in their spending for the home (home decor, furnishings and electronics). While, on the whole, spending on the home has gone down by 1%, Millennials have actually increased their spending in this category by 9%.

Millennials are also the main driving force behind the overall increased spending in handbags, jewelry and accessories. For instance, Millennials outpaced the average affluent spending increases for women’s handbags (+35% for affluent Millennials versus +7% affluents overall), fine watches (+15% vs. +13%), jewelry (+17% vs. +4%) and accessories (+14% vs. 0%).

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of YouGov’s panel of 2,500 US consumers earning at least $150k. Millennials are defined as those aged 18-38, while Gen Xers are aged 39-52.


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