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DataSnapshot: Another chance

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  • | 11:00 a.m. December 22, 2017
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Maybe millennials aren't as bad as their everyone-gets-a-trophy image makes them out to be.

As a group, millennials are better savers, have less credit card debt and their buying power is reaching unprecedented levels, according to a new report from The New York City-based small business consulting and research website analyzed data from the Pew Research Center, the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae and Oracle, among several other sources, for its report entitled Five Ways Millennials are Saving the National Economy.

Millennials, as they grow in the workforce, are projected to reach nearly $3.4 trillion in total income by next year. That's more than baby boomers and close to the income power of Generation X, the report shows. Six out of 10 millennials, the report adds, prefer to pay in cash rather than credit. Also, the generation is on pace to out-do boomers and Generation X in retirement savings.

Data from the report also belies, to some extent, the theory that millennials aren't using their buying power on big-ticket items.

For real estate, in January 2017 millennials represented 45% of all home purchase loans, up 3% from January 2016 — and the largest among all generations, according to Ellie Mae, a mortgage analysis firm. Then there's the stuff necessary to fill the homes. In furniture and bedding, millennials comprised 37% of the market in 2014, according to a buying trends survey from Furniture Today. That more than doubles their 14% share in 2012. During the same period, millennials' share of spending on furniture and bedding soared from 12% to 28%, the report adds.

More big purchases come from the auto industry, where millennials have helped fuel a seven-year boom in car and truck sales. Millennials increased their market share of the auto industry from 20% to 29% from 2011 to 2016, the report shows, while baby boomers' share dropped from 42% to 36%. The report notes that in California, the largest car market nationwide, millennials recently surpassed boomers in auto market share for the first time.

Taken in total, the data, states the report, is enough to give millennials a second chance — maybe. “Millennials get a bad rap for being entitled, shallow and narcissistic,” the report states, “but they are actually doing more than any other age group to keep the economy growing.”


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