A Demographic Scoop, And More Demographic Poop

Posted By on January 12, 2012

It’s all about demographics my dear Watson….here’s some food for thought!

First up let’s study a graph of the Census Bureau historical and forecast data for the peak-spending cohort population in the U.S. from 1980 to 2050.

The Age 45-49 cohort peaked in 2009 and will bottom out in 2022 after an estimated decline of 13.4% from the 2009 population. The Census Bureau’s estimate for 2012 would give us an additional 8.8% decline in numbers for the big spending cohort before bottoming out.

peak spending 1980-2050

Economists and market analysts often think of the retiring boomers as the primary drag on the economy with their the transition from the accumulation phase of their life-cycle to the decumulation phase. But if we understand of the crucial role of consumption for our economic health (about 70% of GDP), a significant shrinkage in the number of peak spenders is a demographic headwind that will challenge us for years to come.


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