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The Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index (CAI) increased 2.1 points from September to October. The CAI now sits at 87.1 — the highest level since its inception in January of 2011.
Even though the CAI increase was within the margin of error, it is worth noting the sustained optimism from September to October. For consumers, the continued momentum in the housing and labor markets is outweighing the uncertainty of the election and anxiety about global growth. Consumer confidence among Utahns has rebounded significantly since October of 2011, increasing 19.0 points over that time.
The Zions Bank Present Situation Index — an assessment of confidence in current business and employment conditions — fell slightly by 3.5 points to 65.8. Utah consumers were less positive about the current business conditions in their area, which drove down the Present Situation score. Sentiments toward the current employment situation remained unchanged from September to October.
On the other hand, the Zions Bank Expectations Index — an estimate of consumer confidence in the economy six months from now — rose significantly by 5.8 points to 101.4. Consumers were slightly less optimistic about future job and income prospects, but Utahns were substantially more enthusiastic about their expectations for general business conditions.
“Utahns have good reason to be more optimistic than they were 12 months ago,” said Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson. “The local housing market has been gathering momentum since the beginning of the year, which translates into increased wealth for homeowners. In fact, Utah ranks in the top ten nationally for home value growth over the last year.”
Consumer attitudes toward the future of home prices reflect the housing sector recovery. More than 46 percent of Utahns think that the value of homes like theirs will increase over the next 12 months, compared to only 26 percent last October.
**Due to Hurricane Sandy currently affecting the U.S. East Coast, The Conference Board will be postponing its regularly scheduled October 30 release of the national Consumer Confidence Index to 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 1.
Zions Bank provides the CAI as a free resource to the communities of Utah. The monthly CAI summary reports are released at a monthly press conference, coinciding with The Conference Board’s national CCI release date.