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Millennials are starting to spend more

Staff writer |
Among Americans overall, spending has declined since 2008 - the year of the financial crash.

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Currently, the millennial generation spends an average of $85 per day and accounts for 28% of all daily per-person consumer spending in the U.S. - a number that is expected to climb as high as 35% over the next 15 years.

Gallup's report, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, reports that in 2008, Americans aged 19 to 35 were spending an average of $98 per day. Among that same age group now, average daily spending has fallen by $13.

Among older Americans, spending is close to - if not on par with - 2008 levels. Perhaps because of their lower wages and higher amounts of student debt, millennials have been unable to catch up to 2008 spending levels, while older generations are less likely to have those constraints.

However, there is positive spending momentum among millennials. Across all generations, fewer than four in 10 Americans (37%) say they are spending more than they were a year ago, but a larger proportion of millennials (42%) say they are spending more.

It is worth noting, though, that Americans - millennials included - are spending more on things they need than on things they want. More millennials report spending more on nondiscretionary categories such as groceries (52%), utilities (37%) and healthcare (35%), while fewer are spending more on discretionary purchases such as leisure activities (33%), travel (26%) and dining out (26%).

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