12:25pm

Tue December 11, 2012
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Consumer Confidence Drops Sharply in Middle Tennessee

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  -- Consumer confidence in Tennessee has taken a nose-dive, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the state’s retailers.

A poll conducted in late November by the Center for Consumer Research at Middle Tennessee State suggests Tennesseans are concerned about their economic prospects. Consumer sentiment plunged 72 points in just 60 days.

MTSU’s Dr. Tim Graeff conducts the confidence poll for the Center.

“People are worried about the upcoming fiscal cliff, problems with the national debt, very concerned about increases in taxes. When we asked them specifically, ‘Do you think your taxes are going to do up or down next year?,’ 74 percent said they expect their taxes to increase.”

Dr. Graeff says half of those surveyed say they intend to save more, another indication of lagging confidence. But in spite of the drop in consumer sentiment, Graeff says he doesn’t expect to see a large drop in Christmas spending.

The latest MTSU Consumer Confidence Poll surveyed 422 Tennesseans living in Rutherford, Williamson, and Davidson counties. The poll has a margin of error of 4.8 percent.