Consumer Confidence Slows, But Better Than March
The Ipsos National CASH Index, Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household, after eight weeks of improving consumer attitudes, dropped 2.2 points and now stands at 86.6. The current dip notwithstanding, the National CASH Index is up more than 25 points since early March, 2003, when the CASH Index was at its lowest point since the Index was inaugurated in January, 2002.
The current dip in the CASH Index is due to downturns in the broadest measures of consumer attitudes - the state of the local economy now and in the near future. Currently, local economic expectations stand at -5.1 (down 0.7 points since mid-April, 2003) and are the largest negative contributor to the Index. Despite remaining unchanged since mid-April, 2003, the current state of personal finances (at -3.9) remains the second largest negative contributor to the Index.
While local economic expectations are the largest negative contributor to the Ipsos National CASH Index, one-third of respondents are optimistic about the future. 37% of respondents expect the local economy to be stronger in six months; only 13% expect their local economy to be weaker.
- The two regions most optimistic about the future of the local economy are New England (47% stronger) and Pacific (41% stronger).
- New England and the Pacific region have, over the past six months, been the most negative in overall economic outlook as well most negative in their evaluation of President Bush.
- Other demographic groups that are most optimistic about the future of the local economy are: Age 75+ (50% stronger), Hispanics (46% stronger), College-educated men (41% stronger), and individuals with household income of $75K+ (44%).
- The two regions least optimistic about the future of the local economy are the Mid-Atlantic (30% stronger) and the West North Central region (33% stronger).
- Other demographic groups that are the least optimistic about the future of the local economy are: Blacks (28% stronger), Women 18-44 (31% stronger), Single moms (31% stronger), and individuals who rent their home (31% stronger).
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