5e691fd484159f6d69600bb4Millennials and Gen Z are preparing to cut back on spending in the face of coronavirus. Reuters

Younger generations are tightening their wallets in the face of coronavirus

The World Health Organization officially declared coronavirus a pandemic on Wednesday. But the virus is providing more than a health scare — it's also creating a financial one.

While those of all generations are concerned about the financial effects of the coronavirus, "millennials' behavior is changing more dramatically than any other generation," Greg Petro, CEO of retail predictive analytics company First Insight, told CNBC's Lauren Thomas. "They are going to cut their spending."

More than half (54%) of millennials said coronavirus has impacted their purchase decisions — more than any other generation, according to a First Insight survey published on February 28. But while 40% of millennials said they're cutting back on spending in preparation for coronavirus, even more of Gen Z — 41% — said the same. That's compared to 36% of Gen X and 23% of baby boomers.

Younger people seem more concerned than older people about coronavirus' impact on their financial health, and it's all because of how they've been affected by major national events.

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