Teens are worried about the economy, have cut spending to the lowest level since 2011

U.S. teens are worried more than ever about the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Piper Sandler’s Spring “Taking Stock With Teens” survey.

“Coronavirus” was listed as the No. 2 social/political concern amongst teenagers just behind the environment, the closely-followed semi-annual survey found.

What’s more, “coronavirus” was mentioned unaided by the teen respondents. Piper Sandler also noted that the earliest mention of “coronavirus” as a concern was on February 18, “much earlier than most Western governments.”

The survey also found that teens are worried about the economy, with 47% indicating that they believe the economy is getting “worse,” up from 28% a year ago.

“We saw a higher level of mentions around the ‘stock market’ and the ‘economy’ as top concerns,” the Piper Sandler researchers wrote. “One teen wrote in: ‘Restaurants are closing, I lost my job due to it.’”

POUND RIDGE, NEW YORK – MARCH 22: A family, unable to venture beyond their home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, play a game of monopoly together on March 22, 2020 in Pound Ridge, New York. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

For the survey, Piper Sandler polled 5,200 teens with an average age of 16.2 years across 41 states between February 17 and March 27, “during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The teens took the survey at home as part of their online learning, with schools closed due to the virus. Piper noted that it received lower responses in the Northeastern part of the U.S., where the virus has had the most significant impact.

“We believe COVID-19 did impact that number of overall responses,” the Piper Sandler team wrote.

The worried teens aren’t spending as much these days either. The teens reported that they’d spend $2,270 this year, the lowest level since the Fall of 2011. According to Piper Sandler, that implies teenage consumers between 13 and 19 will spend $63 billion in 2020.

Some highlights from the quarantined teenagers include Instagram (FB) capturing the top spot as the social media platform they use the most, while newcomer TikTok debuted at the No. 3 spot. Snapchat (SNAP), however, remains the “favorite” social media platform.

As for video streaming consumption, 33% said they’re watching Netflix (NFLX), down from 35% in Fall 2019 as newcomers Disney+ and AppleTV+ captured a share of 7% and 2%, respectively.

According to the survey, 53% said Amazon (AMZN) is their favorite e-commerce site, up from 50% a year ago.

Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter

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