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Why Quality of Life Is the New Money for Millennials

Ann Hynek - Author

Mar. 1 2016, Published 1:06 p.m. ET

What are some other millennial consumption trends that you’re seeing? It’s interesting because in the last decade, we’ve seen robust growth in the service sector of the labor market, from professional and business services to leisure and hospitality. We’re also seeing a manufacturing malaise due to slowing emerging economies and global trade. I believe that consumption demand patterns among millennials, including an emphasis on quality of life, is somewhat influencing this demand for travel and leisure, tech products and personal services, to name a few. The technology-driven revolution, which has a downward influence on price, continues to spur solid consumption growth, particularly in the personal services and travel/leisure categories, and is reflective of the generational shift to a newer millennial-oriented economy.

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Market Realist – A millennial-oriented economy

As the previous generation starts fading into retirement, millennials are arriving on the scene with buying power of around $200 billion per year. Plus, they control spending worth approximately $500 billion annually because of their strong influence on their parents.

However, this generation is heavily burdened with debt (LQD) and is asset-light compared to its predecessor. Millennials grew up under very difficult economic times, making them more socially and fiscally prudent. Millennials focus on better quality of life, as they value working in creative jobs, having free time for entertainment, and guarding their personal time and space. Their consumption patterns are mainly driven by financial considerations and convenience. They focus on being mobile and seek value for money, which is made possible through technology (IYW) (IGM).

Millennials prefer to travel a lot in a cost-effective way—not only in the United States (QUAL) (ITOT) but also around the world. The United Nations estimates that around 20% of all international tourists, or nearly 200 million travelers, are millennials. This group generates more than $180 billion in annual tourism revenue—a growth of 30% since 2007.

Easy access to social media and budget travel tools make travel easy and economical for millennials. Airbnb, Skyscanner, Couchsurfing, and Lonely Planet message boards are some of the tools they use for travel.


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