Millennials' economic outlook: Storms ahead for emerging markets

The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016

Millennials provide a useful barometer of economic confidence and their current views of future performance are both striking and concerning.

They are likely to be particularly sensitive to economic conditions. Although our respondents are all employed full-time and generally working in large organizations, they are a generation whose careers were at a relatively early stage when the “Great Recession” hit. Meanwhile, they will be more aware than most of the high levels of youth unemployment that persist. The average level for OECD countries is 15 percent and accounts for more than one in five 15-24 year olds in Spain (53 percent), South Africa (51 percent), France (23 percent), and Belgium (23 percent).

Our latest results show that, globally, Millennials on balance remain optimistic, but at the lowest level we have yet recorded. Across all 29 markets, 41 percent expect the overall economic situation in their countries to improve during the next 12 months, while 30 percent foresee deterioration; this gives a net optimism score of +11, which is six points below that seen in 2015. While disappointing in itself to observe such a drop, this figure masks some quite dramatic regional and local changes. For example, while China’s Millennials, on balance, are still positive, their optimism score (+43) is 18 points below that recorded last year. Still greater drops are seen in Brazil (down 20 points to + 29) and Russia (down 30 to -23), while the greatest declines are recorded in Indonesia (down 41 to +28), Mexico (down 39 to -27), and Malaysia/Thailand/Singapore (down 32 to -6).

Optimism tends to be growing in mature economies (+4), but is declining in emerging markets (-14). The greatest upswing in optimism is seen in Italy (up 27 to +14) and seven of the 10 largest improvements are in developed markets.

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