What you need to know

The economy is presenting signs of a comeback with lower unemployment rate, increase in wages, and decreases in gas prices. However, while consumers are confident about the future of their own financial situations, they continue to be skeptical about the general economy. This report reviews key measurements to assess the economy and consumers’ changes from a year ago, the factors contributing to consumers’ economic outlook, and the financial status of various groups of consumers who show differences in their perspectives, including women, Millennials, and homeowners.

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Consumers and Economic Outlook – US, February 2014.

Data sources

Consumer survey data

For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through Lightspeed GMI to explore consumer consumption of/attitudes and behaviors toward mobile and online banking. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted in October 2014 among a sample of 1,570 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet and who have a banking relationship and own a smartphone/tablet.

Mintel selects survey respondents by gender, age, household income, and region so that they are proportionally representative of the US adult population using the internet. Mintel also slightly over-samples, relative to the population, respondents that are Hispanic or Black to ensure an adequate representation of these groups in our survey results and to allow for more precise parameter estimates from our reported findings. Please note that Mintel surveys are conducted online and in English only. Hispanics who are not online and/or do not speak English are not included in the survey results.

Mintel has also analyzed data from Experian Marketing Services, using the Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS). The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NCS/NHCS was carried out during August 2013-September 2014, and the results are based on the sample of 23,097 adults aged 18+, with results weighted to represent the US adult population.

Additional data from Experian Marketing Services, Summer 2013, 2014 Simmons NHCS Adult Study 12-Month is included for July 2012-September 2013 and August 2013-September 2014.

While race and Hispanic origin are separate demographic characteristics, Mintel often compares them to each other. Please note that the responses for race (White, Black, Asian, Native American, or other race) will overlap those that also are Hispanic, because Hispanics can be of any race.

Direct marketing creative

All estimated mail volume data and consumer direct mail marketing creatives are provided by Mintel Comperemedia.

Mintel Comperemedia is a searchable competitive database tracking direct mail, print, and online advertising in the US and Canada, as well as email in the US. Comperemedia tracks information across eight sectors: Banking, Credit Card, Investments, Insurance, Mortgage and Loan, Telecom, Travel and Leisure, and Automotive.

For more information, please contact Account Services Management at 312.450.6353 or www.mintel.com.

Abbreviations and terms


The following is a list of abbreviations used in this report:

CPI Consumer Price Index
DPI Disposable Personal Income
FSI Financial Services Industry
GDP Gross Domestic Product
PCE Personal Consumption Expenditures


Consumer Price Index According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CPI is “"a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a basket of consumer goods and services.”
Disposable Personal Income Total income after taxes are paid.
Gross Domestic Product The value of goods and services produced within a country, measured over a specific period of time (such as quarterly or annually).
Personal Consumption Expenditures According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal consumption expenditures (PCE) is the primary measure of consumer spending on goods and services in the U.S. economy. It shows how much of the income earned by households is being spent on current consumption as opposed to how much is being saved for future consumption.

Generations are discussed within this report, and they are defined as:

World War II The generation born in 1932 or before. In 2015, members of this generation are aged 83 or older.
Swing Generation The generation born between 1933 and 1945. In 2015, members of the Swing Generation are between the ages of 70 and 82.
Baby Boomers The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2015, Baby Boomers are between the ages of 51 and 69.
Generation X The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2015, Generation Xers are between the ages of 39 and 50.
Millennials* Born between 1977 and 1994, Millennials are aged 21-38 in 2015.
iGeneration Born between 1995 and 2007, members of iGeneration are aged 8-20 in 2015.
Emerging Generation The newest generation began in 2008 as the annual number of births declined sharply with the recession. In 2015 members of this as-yet-unnamed generation are younger than 8.

* also known as Generation Y or Echo Boomers

Back to top