The Evolving Economic and Consumer Landscape in 2017

Political instability is a key challenge going into 2017, and surprisingly, two of the biggest risks are in advanced economies. First is the Trump effect; it is hard to ascertain the exact impact a Trump presidency will have on the US and global economies, as much remains unknown about how many of his campaign promises were rhetoric and, of those that do go with him to the White House, how many he could successfully enact. The ramifications of protectionist trade policies and an expansionary fiscal stance are global, with emerging market currencies already suffering from a “Trump tantrum” in late 2016. Brexit is another unknown quantity; outside of Europe, its impact on the global economy is more subdued than a Trump downturn, but it adds another element of unpredictability at a time when political volatility is a key concern.

Consumers enter 2017 to this backdrop of uncertainty. Over the course of the year, Euromonitor International is expecting consumer expenditure to rise by 2.3% in real terms, with every household saving US$3,609 on average. With the US still accounting for almost one in three dollars spent globally, consumer behaviour in the Trump era matters to the world. Despite a slowing economy, Chinese consumers will continue to see one of the largest increases in spending, and expenditure in emerging and developing economies overall will grow by more than twice that of developed markets.

Authenticity, convenience and experience will continue to be trends to watch regarding the 2017 consumer. New Consumerism will strongly influence behaviour, as consumers reassess their priorities and values.

In this briefing, our experts analyse the most important trends that will shape the world in 2017, discussing diverse themes such as: the risk of increasing trade barriers, increased importance of the circular economy, the rise of multi-tasking appliances and the squeezed middle.