Millennials Are Poised to Super-Charge Growth

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Millennials Are Poised to Super-Charge Growth

As always:  Demography is destiny! 

And that’s great to hear, since demography is now on our side to the greatest extent in 35 years. 

In 1982, the greatest secular bull market in history began, and a big factor driving it was the maturing of the enormous Baby Boom generation.  Over the next 18 years, the stock market rose over 1,100 percent—and we’re about to see an economic boom that will be just as big.

How do we know?

In addition to the technological and behavioral factors cited in recent issues of Trends, we’ve reached a crucial demographic milestone.  In 2017, the oldest members of the enormous Millennial generation will be the same age the oldest Boomers were in 1982. 

Even better, this time we don’t have to wait for Reagan and Volker to do the painful work of killing inflation.  Everything is in place for takeoff; we just need to light the fuse. 

Based on Trends’ analysis, we can expect to see one of the biggest long-term economic upswings in history, rivaled only by the post-World War II boom that ran from the late 1940s through the “soaring ‘60s.”  And this era of rising prosperity should last at least into the late 2030s.

Whether they’re in marketing, finance, or public policy, most professionals are familiar with the various generational cohorts of the Twentieth Century:

  1. The so-called Greatest Generation, born 1910 to 1927, fought World War II; it includes John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.
  2. The Silent Generation, born 1928 to 1945, fought the Korean War; it includes Jack Welch and Elvis Presley.
  3. The Baby Boom Generation, born 1946 to 1964, fought the Vietnam War; it includes Steve Jobs and Bill Clinton.
  4. Generation X, born 1965 to 1981, fought the 1991 Gulf War; it includes Michael Dell and Elon Musk.
  5. The Millennial Generation, born 1982 to 1999, fought the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It includes Mark Zuckerberg and Paris Hilton.
  6. Generation Z, born 2000 to 2017, includes young people just emerging as workers and consumers. We explored Gen Z in the workplace in our June 2016 issue, and we’ll discuss Generation Z consumers more thoroughly in trend #3 this month.

Each generation not only shapes the economy and society, but also is shaped by their experiences in the economy and society.  Furthermore, each generation exhibits both cohort characteristics and life-cycle characteristics. 

Cohort characteristics are attributes that do not change over time...

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