Teen Spending Falls to Eight-year Low

In its latest survey of U.S. teenagers, U.S. investment bank Piper Jaffray found that 32% of teens think the economy is getting worse, an increase of 7 percentage points from the fall of 2018.

Piper also found that teens this fall estimate they are on track to spend $2,371 per year, the lowest estimated annual spend for teenagers in the U.S. since the fall of 2011.

Back in the fall of 2011, the economy was still finding its footing after the crisis, credit ratings agencies had just downgraded the U.S. debt, and the eurozone seemed at risk of breaking up amid the darkest days of the Euro Crisis.

And in 2011, America’s teens were millennials. Now, these same people are young adults. Said another way, Generation Z has never been this cautious when it comes to their economic outlook.

Piper notes that several trends among what’s popular with teens could lead to an overall low spend from the group. Accessories spending hit a record low for the survey and cosmetics spending is down 20% over last year to the lowest levels in 19 surveys (or more than nine years). Handbags also appear to be out, as spending on handbags hit an all-time low for the survey. The casualization of fashion continues to grow, with 75% of female respondents and 87% of male respondents preferring an athletic brand of footwear, new highs for the survey.

The rise of the “VSCO girl” — which emphasizes a low-maintenance, health-conscious aesthetic — might also be putting pressure on traditional areas of teen spending. Piper says the term “has been used most commonly to describe a girl who wears scrunches, Birkenstocks/Crocs, an oversized tee, and carries a HydroFlask with a metal straw while constantly re-applying lip-gloss and spritzing body mists.”

Source: Yahoo Finance