Tennesse consumer confidence way up in most recent quarter

Mar 12, 2018

MURFREESBRORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Tennesseans are feeling bullish about both the state and national economies in spite of recent volatility in the stock market.

Credit MTSU

Middle Tennessee State University has released its latest, quarterly Consumer Outlook Index. Consumer sentiment has improved by a whopping 55 points in a single quarter, for about a 30 percent jump.

Dr. Tim Graeff directs consumer research at MTSU.

“Three times as many consumers said that the United States economy is good versus bad. When we ask them about the future of the United States economy twice as many say that they expect the U.S. economy to be better in the future than worse. Relatively few, only about 12 percent in terms of jobs, only about 12 percent expected there to be fewer jobs in the next twelve months.”

Dr. Graeff says such a positive outlook for the national economy is a relatively recent development. He says Tennesseans have been bullish on the state economy for some time, but only began to show more confidence in the U.S. economy after the election of President Trump last fall.

Graeff says that in spite of their growing confidence most consumers are not planning on spending more in the coming year. He says they plan on saving money and paying down debt instead. While that may be bad news for retailers, Dr. Graeff still sees it as a positive.

“You want consumers to be able to have the money to spend in the future, so seeing an increase in savings offsets that decrease in expected spending, and that can actually be a good thing for the long-term health of the economy.”

The latest MTSU consumer poll involved 630 residents statewide and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.

Would you like to review the complete MTSU Tennessee Consumer Outlook Index?