Consumer spending across the Wasatch Front is up 3.9 percent over the past 12 months, two percent higher than the national consumer price index, according to the Zion’s Bank Consumer Attitude Index. Randy Shumway, CEO of The Cicero Group, says improvements in the housing market and the continued decrease in unemployment have lead to a statewide increase in consumer confidence.
“We saw an increase, this month, the month of October of 2.1 points. Why? Because there are so many positive economic indicators that are overcoming the anxiety people are feeling based on what’s occurring in Europe, China, the Middle East, as well as the upcoming Presidential and national elections,” he says.
Shumway says Zion’s Bank Consumer Attitude Index now sits at just over 87 percent, the highest level it’s been since they started tracking consumer attitude in 2010. He adds consumer confidence increased despite a 27-cent increase in the cost of a gallon of gas this month, which resulted in price increases across the valley.
“This September we saw issues with supply, geo-political unrest in the Middle East, pipeline closures, accidents at refineries in California and Texas and all of those compounded to push prices higher. We expect prices to start decreasing in November and December,” he says.
October’s National Consumer Index Report is delayed until Thursday due to super storm Sandy.
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CPI = Measurement of inflation. Other than how much more consumers have to pay, it has nothing to do with spending. It’s nonsensical to compare the rate of spending with inflation (as in “two percent higher blah blah”.)