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ZIONS BANK CONSUMER ATTITUDE INDEX
The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index decreased by one point to 78.9 in March, while the national Consumer Confidence Index decreased 8.3 points to 59.7. The one-point decrease in the CAI is within the margin of error and does not represent a significant change.
The Zions Bank Present Situation Index rose 0.6 points to 76.3, compared to the national Present Situation Index, which decreased 3.5 points to 57.9. The Zions Bank Expectations Index decreased 2.0 points to 80.6, compared with the national Expectations Index, which decreased 11.5 points to 60.9.
The Zions Bank CAI is based on a representative sample of 500 Utah households. The monthly survey is conducted by The Cicero Group/Dan Jones & Associates and has a confidence interval of +/- 4.38 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. The cutoff date for March’s results was March 15. The Utah CAI data is compared to both Utah data and U.S. data from previous months to identify key consumer sentiment trends in the state.
ZIONS BANK CONSUMER ATTITUDE SUMMARY
The proportion of Utahns who think gasoline prices will increase over the next 12 months fell this month to 83 percent, from 86 percent in February. On average, Utahns who believe gas prices will increase think that the fuel will be 45 cents higher.
Eighty-six percent of Utahns think that the price of homes like theirs will increase or stay the same over the next 12 months, compared to 80 percent 12 months ago.
Fifty-six percent of Utahns do not believe that their household income will increase faster than the rate of inflation, compared to 54 percent in February. In turn, the proportion of Utahns who identified they are likely to purchase a major household item in the next 60 days increased, moving up from 19 percent in February to 25 percent in March. Sixty-five percent of Utah consumers responded it was unlikely that they would lose their job in the next two years, which is five percentage points less than last month.
Inflation and Economic Growth Expectations:
Fifty percent of Utahns believe that interest rates will increase in the next 12 months, while 78 percent of consumers think that general prices will increase over the same period. The number of Utah consumers who think it is very unlikely that the U.S. economy will improve during the next 12 months jumped significantly this month to 20 percent, up from 14 percent in February.
Utahns have long been unimpressed by the job the federal government is doing to improve the economy, but since April, the proportion of Utahns who think the state government is performing well in this area has decreased significantly. The percent of Utahns who identified that the state government is doing a good job setting economic policy has fallen 8 percent in this month.