Survey: Utahns More Optimistic on Economy Than National Average

(KCPW News) While the national consumer confidence index hits an eight-month high, a new survey suggests Utah consumers are even more positive about the future of the economy. The newly released Consumer Attitude Index from Zions Bank is 76.2 for January, compared to the national index of 60.6.  Randy Shumway is CEO of The Cicero Group and Dan Jones and Associates, which surveyed 500 Utah households.

“These numbers are higher in each category than they are nationally, suggesting, not surprisingly, that Utahns are more confident about the economy and their future economic circumstances over the next twelve months,” he said.

For example, 88 percent of those surveyed believe the number of jobs will stay the same or increase in the near future, and 90 percent believe incomes will either stay flat or go up.

Helen Wade and her brother Ian started a clothing shop, Fresh, in Salt Lake City’s 9th and 9th neighborhood in the summer of 2009, during the thick of the recession. She says she’s extremely optimistic about economic conditions.

“Every month we see an increase in sales,” said Wade. “Back to school season was really successful for us. This was our second holiday season and it doubled compared to last year.”

While the Consumer Attitude Index shows Utahns are optimistic about the future of the economy, that doesn’t mean their personal finances are in good shape. Only 19 percent are confident their household incomes will keep pace with inflation, and only 28 percent believe they would be able to maintain their living standards if they retired.

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