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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Consumer confidence continues to rise in Utah

By Jasen Lee, Deseret News

Published: Wed, Aug. 27 11:37 a.m. MDT

 The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index increased 2.0 points to 106.9 from July to August as Utahns continue feeling confident about business conditions and employment.

The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index increased 2.0 points to 106.9 from July to August as Utahns continue feeling confident about business conditions and employment.

(Julie Jacobson, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — Consumer confidence in Utah continues to climb, according to a new monthly report.

The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index increased 2.0 points to 106.9 from July to August, indicating that Utahns are still feeling a bit more confident about business conditions and employment.

The national Consumer Confidence Index increased 2.1 points to 92.4.

The index ticked upward and has improved 18.5 points over the past 12 months. The Present Situation Index — a reflection of consumer sentiment about current economic conditions — rose 8.7 points from July to August, reaching 112.0 points.

Consumer confidence in current economic conditions in Utah is now at a record high, said Randy Shumway, chief economic adviser for Zions Bank.

The jump stems from a combination of more positive attitudes about current business conditions and increased perception that jobs are more plentiful, he said at a monthly news conference.

"This month, Utah met the challenge to create 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days — a significant accomplishment that correlates with Utah’s consistently low unemployment rate over the past few months," Shumway said. "While Utah’s unemployment rate ticked back up to 3.6 percent in July after dropping to 3.5 percent in June, this slight uptick in the unemployment rate did not noticeably affect opinions about the labor market."

The percentage of Utahns who describe jobs in their area as plentiful increased to 33 percent in August from 32 percent in July, the report states. Feelings that current business conditions are good saw an even larger increase, rising from 45 percent in July to 48 percent for the month of August.

The Expectations Index, a reflection of consumers’ expectations for economic conditions six months from now, fell by 2.5 points in August after jumping 10.1 points in July.

Conducted by the Cicero Group, the monthly consumer attitude index is based on a representative sample of 500 Utah households at a confidence interval of plus or minus 4.38 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

Email: jlee@deseretnews.com

Twitter: JasenLee1

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