MTSU survey: Tenn. consumer outlook still strong

Tennessee consumers’ outlook on the economy has leveled off a tad but remains strong, according to the most recent statewide survey by MTSU’s Office of Consumer Research.
The Tennessee Consumer Outlook Index dipped slightly to 238 this month, down from 240 in March but still up substantially from 185 in December 2017.

This chart compares the overall Tennessee Consumer Outlook Index by geographic region in June 2018. The index is measured quarterly. (Courtesy of the MTSU Office of Consumer Research)

“Consumers continue to feel more positive about the overall U.S. economy, the Tennessee economy, and the current job market,” said Tim Graeff, director of the Office of Consumer Research in Middle Tennessee State University’s Jones College of Business. “The largest gains in outlook were in West Tennessee.”
Graeff noted that consumers are also more optimistic about the outlook for their personal financial situation and that overall survey results “show a firm belief among consumers that the economy is on a solid footing.”
Other highlights
Consumers expect the economy to either remain stable or improve in the next 12 months.
Positive views of the job market and increased confidence in future personal finances and investments have helped buoy consumers’ outlook.
Although some consumers might forgo large purchases in order to increase saving or reduce credit card debt, a growing percentage of consumers expect to increase their spending in the future.
The current online survey of 630 Tennessee consumers was conducted June 11-16 and has an error margin of 4 percent. The quarterly survey consists of a series of questions that measure areas such as how consumers feel about the local, state and national economies as well as their personal financial situations and the job market.

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