TransUnion’s Q3 2022 US Consumer Pulse Study Released
We’ve just released the latest TransUnion US Consumer Pulse Study — a quarterly survey exploring how consumers’ personal finances have changed and what changes they expect in the future. Here are the key takeaways:
Generational divide emerges in financial outlook: Optimism about household finances in the next 12 months fell two percentage points to 53% in Q3 2022, representing three straight quarters of waning optimism. However, two-thirds of Gen Z (66%) and Millennials (65%) reported optimism about their financial futures, while less than half of Gen X (49%) and Baby Boomers (40%) reported optimism. This split between younger and older generations showed up consistently throughout this quarter’s report in both past and planned behavior.
Rising incomes drives inflation resilience in younger generations: Overall, Americans reported up to this point in 2022, their household finances were worse than planned (40%) compared to better than planned (28%). However, there was a stark generational divergence as more Gen Zers reported better household finances than planned (39% better and 30% worse), as did Millennials (41% better and 33% worse). This was compared to those who reported household finances worse than planned; Gen X (24% better and 47% worse) and Baby Boomers (13% better and 45% worse).
Inflation was the top financial concern in the next six months; 79% reported it in their top three, an increase of three percentage points from Q2 2022. Of the consumers who said their finances were worse than planned, 76% indicated their incomes were not keeping up with inflation. However, the impact of inflation appears closely related to income growth.
Younger generations reported much higher income growth in the past three months; 44% of Gen Z and 41% of Millennials cited growth compared to just 24% for Gen X and 11% for Baby Boomers.
Americans prepare for imminent recession: Nearly two-thirds (60%) believed the US economy is already in a recession or will enter a recession by the end of the year. It was the second most reported financial concern among Americans; 55% reported it as a top three concern in Q3. Overall, 64% of consumers indicated they plan to reduce spending in preparation of a recession. While a majority among each generation planned to reduce spending, Baby Boomers said they’ll cut back the most (71%) compared to Gen Z (56%).
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