Although consumer confidence in Utah still sits in positive territory, April saw a major decline in the way people think about their economic future. The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index (CAI) decreased in April after a big jump in March, mirroring national sentiment. The CAI dropped 10.9 points to 112.6. The index remains above 110, which typically translates to a decent outlook in economic prosperity.
The overall CAI currently sits 3.6 points higher than its level 12 months ago. By comparison, the national Consumer Confidence Index decreased 4.6 points from March to April and currently sits at 120.3.
“Fluctuations in consumer attitudes from month to month are expected, but Utah’s high levels of confidence demonstrate that the state’s economy remains strong,” said Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank. “Utahns can retain confidence that business continues to boom in the Beehive State.”
The decrease in the CAI primarily resulted from lower expectations for the economy over the next six months, as slightly fewer Utahns expect business conditions to improve, the number of jobs to increase and household income to rise.
Thirty-five percent of those surveyed think their household income will be higher in six months, down from 41 percent in March.
Thirty percent of Utahns believe there will be more jobs in their area in six months, which was down from 35 percent in March. Thirty-two percent of respondents think business conditions will be better in six months, which represents a slight dip from March’s expectations (34 percent).
Other metrics regarding economic confidence, interest rates, government economic policy and gasoline prices include:
• Thirty-eight percent of consumers believe the U.S. economy will improve during the next 12 months, compared to 50 percent in March.
• Seventy-two percent of Utahns think interest rates will go up in the next 12 months, up from 69 percent in March.
• Sixty-two percent of residents believe the price of consumer goods in general will go up over the next 12 months, compared to 59 percent in March.
• Twenty percent of Utahns think the federal government is doing a good job taking steps to improve the overall economy, down 6 points from March.
• Forty percent of survey respondents think the state government is doing a good job, down from 44 percent in March.
“Consumer attitudes in Utah have sustained high levels for over a year, so it is understandable that we occasionally experience a slight dip rather than a continuous upward path,” said Randy Shumway, chairman and partner of Cicero Group, a market research firm based in Salt Lake City.