Gen-Y keeps spending despite downturn

Gen-Y is bucking the skimping trend, with many increasing their spending habits, according to new research by insights consultancy The Leading Edge.

Gen-Y is bucking the skimping trend, with many increasing their spending habits, according to new research by insights consultancy The Leading Edge.

According to The Leading Edge Trends survey of 1230 Australians, young people aged 18 to 24 years are less likely to be affected than other age groups by the current downturn.

“With so many Gen-Yers still living at home with mum and dad, it’s not surprising they are less affected by an economic downturn in comparison to home owners and young families,” says Karen Phillips, Sydney CEO of The Leading Edge. “The research found 31% are actually spending more on ‘going out’, with a similar percentage (33%) spending more on personal technology gadgets such as iPhones, Wii Fits and Tom Tom GPS navigators. And the cooking skills they’ve been taught at home have well and truly gone to waste with 29% spending more on takeaways!”

When it came to people of all ages, the survey found Australians are tightening their belts and this was affecting the way they spent their money and their time. On average 38% of people are spending less on leisure pursuits than this time last year, while 35% were spending the same. While these figures show consumer spending is slowing overall, there are segments that are showing growth.

“Overall we’re seeing the expected trend of people cutting back on ‘going out’,” Phillips says. Any spending increases are usually found in areas that surround home entertaining. If we break it down even further we’ll notice more startling trends. When asked why people were spending more time at home, lack of money (22%) and petrol prices (18%) got the highest mentions.

“The key to winning in a slowing economy is to identify where spending increases are coming from. For example, if you are producing or retailing personal technology gadgets your target will be 18 to 24 year olds, males in particular, where 33% of consumers are likely to be increasing their spend as opposed to 55 to 64 year olds where 34% of people are likely to be decreasing their spend.

“By making an investment to better understand your consumer than your competitor, you could turn the current economic downturn into an opportunity rather than a threat. Handled correctly, you could actually grow your market share,” says Phillips.

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