Millennials are the 'worried' generation and changing spending habits most amid coronavirus outbreak, study shows

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Millennials are being described as the “worry generation.”

And with a new coronavirus spreading across the U.S. and globally, and with the death toll rising, millennials — or those people born between 1981 and 1996 — are already changing their spending habits and preparing to shop differently more than any other age group in order to cope, according to a new survey.

“I am calling millennials the concerned generation ... or worried,” Greg Petro, CEO of retail predictive analytics company First Insight, said in an interview. “Generally everyone is concerned about it, everyone believes there will be a financial impact. But millennials’ behavior is changing more dramatically than any other generation. They are going to cut their spending.”

Fifty-four percent of millennials say the new coronavirus has already significantly or somewhat impacted their purchase decisions, First Insight found in surveying 500 people on Feb. 28. That’s compared with 33% of baby boomers, 42% of Gen X, and 49% of Gen Z, it said.

Notably, the poll took place as stocks posted their worst losses since the 2008 financial crisis but before anyone in the U.S. had died of COVID-19. At least 11 people have died in the U.S. from the outbreak.  

Overall, 66% of people surveyed said they were either very or somewhat worried about the coronavirus. And a whopping 93% said they believe the outbreak will either somewhat or significantly impact the U.S. economy.

This includes changing where and how they shop. Forty-six percent of millennials said they either strongly agree or agree that the coronavirus is impacting how much they are going out in public. Thirty-nine percent said they are shopping less frequently in stores. And 30% of millennials said they are shopping more frequently, instead, online.

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baby boomers  millennials  Generation Z  consumer spending  CONSUMER REPORT  Generation X  Coronavirus  COVID-19