We are having a baby boom. Bank of America analyst Robert Ohmes reported that birth rates are rising and 13% more pregnancy tests are being sold compared to last year, as Millennial couples are trying to have babies.
By comparison, between 2016 and 2019, the sales of pregnancy tests grew by only 2%. Live births increased 3.3% in June 2021, the highest rate of growth since 2013. BofA’s survey, speaking with about 1,000 people in October, revealed that 11.3% of respondents said they are expecting or trying to have a baby.
In the face of all of the challenges, a decision to have a baby is monumental. You need to have faith in the future to bring children into this world. The data from BofA is welcoming. It’s a huge indicator that people are regaining their confidence. Fear has subsided, somewhat. There is hope for better days ahead of us.
New parents need to make a lot of purchases, including diapers, cribs and strollers. They quickly grow out of their clothes, as they get older. Their rooms need to be furnished, and the latest, coolest toys purchased. Ohmes predicted that this trend would be good news for an array of businesses, including Target, Walmart and Costco, Albertsons, Kroger, Dollar General and BJ’s Wholesale Club, as new parents start shopping.
The decision to have a baby is difficult. Starting a family now may feel unattainable. The Millennial generation, ranging from about 25 to 40 years old, eclipsed the Baby Boomers as the biggest demographic in the U.S. This cohort is mired in college debt, confronting exorbitant apartment rental costs, sky-high home prices and rising inflation.
During the dark days of the pandemic, experts predicted there would be a baby boom, as people were home, didn’t venture outdoors and human nature would take its course. It didn’t happen, as there was too much uncertainty about the future. Many people felt that the best days were behind us and that the future was bleak.
While couples may desperately want children, the financial aspect made it feel impossible. They’d worry how they could afford a 20% downpayment on a home, as they’re just getting by. The fear and anxiety over the virus outbreak is still freshly emblazoned in our psyches. Our politicians are attacking each other, we’re worried about the environment, supply-chain disruptions and gasoline prices are rising. If you spend 10 minutes on any social media platform or watch cable news, you’re assaulted with negativity, anger and laments over the fading glory of America.
Confidence and faith in the future is what drives commerce and the economy. It’s not a coincidence that we’ve seen a boom in novice investors trading meme stocks, Bitcoin, NFTs and an array of cryptocurrencies.
The prices of homes have skyrocketed higher. New businesses started at an accelerated rate. There is a flood of initial public offerings and SPACs, bringing all sorts of innovative companies public. None of this would happen if people weren’t confident about the future. No one would buy shares of stock or a home if they felt the market would soon crash.
The Millie Baby Boom is one of the best pieces of news we’ve received recently. It’s the sign we needed, indicating that young people are excited about our collective future. This could usher in a new age of prosperity and positive changes.