SAN FRANCISCO — Visa USA, the nation's largest credit and debit card brand, has begun looking toward what it called a generational shift in spending patterns as the purchasing momentum moves from Baby Boomers to younger generations, which Visa identified as Echo Boomers.

"We are witnessing a watershed moment in our economy's history as one generation transfers their economic influence to another," said Wayne Best, Visa's chief economist. "As Echo Boomers expand as a proportion of the American workforce and mature as consumers, they will continue to spend heavily in service industry retail categories such as restaurants, travel and entertainment."

When it comes to spending, the study also found that Echo Boomers are more likely to listen to their parents, spouses and children rather than members of their own generation. While Baby Boomers tend to rely strongly on their spouse's input, however, they rarely look to their younger counterparts for buying cues, Visa said.

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