The following paragraph and chart are from the Wells Fargo Economics Group, who provides domestic and international economic commentary. The AIM program has found the Wells Fargo analysis to be useful in understanding macro-economic trends across the US and globe. This report on Millennials was especially interesting and insightful in understand a significant secular shift in spending behavior. (Click on the chart for a larger view).
The two fastest growing categories of consumer spending among Millennials (Ages 18-34) are food away from home and entertainment, underscoring the current nonmaterial nature of Millennial spending. There are some early signs however that this trend may be reversing as home ownership and transportation spending have begun to recover. It is difficult to say for certain how much of the overall trends in consumer spending by category is driven by pure demographic change and those driven by cyclical factors. That said, there is clear evidence of increased diversity of the Millennial generation relative to prior age demographics, which suggests, based on prior evidence, a structural change in the tastes and preferences of the population.