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MTSU survey: Midstate consumers more upbeat about ...

MTSU survey: Midstate consumers more upbeat about economy

Midstate consumers have shaken off some of the pessimism they carried at the end of last year to become more optimistic about the economy, according to the latest three-county survey by Middle Tennessee State University.

The most recent Middle Tennessee Consumer Outlook survey shows the overall consumer outlook index improved to 179, up from 122 in December. A year ago, the index stood at 144.

This graphic shows consumer trends from the end of 2011 until now on the following indexes:  Overall Index, Current Situation Index, Future Expectations Index and Purchasing Index. (Courtesy of the Office of Consumer Research, MTSU)

This graphic shows consumer trends from the end of 2011 until now on the following indexes: Overall Index, Current Situation Index, Future Expectations Index and Purchasing Index. (Courtesy of the Office of Consumer Research, MTSU)

Dr. Tim Graeff

That’s good news for local business and retailers, said Tim Graeff, director of the Office of Consumer Research at MTSU’s Jones College of Business.

“More positive consumer outlook measures can signal an increased willingness to spend among consumers, which can further add to any growth in the economy,” Graeff said. “All in all, the current results are very promising. Local consumers appear to be increasingly optimistic about continued improvements in the economy.”

Even though stocks have retreated a bit at the beginning of this year, consumers remain relatively steadfast in their expectations for the future of the stock market, Graeff added. But …

“We will have to wait and see if this improved outlook on the economy can be sustained and if it will cause consumers to be more willing to significantly increase their spending,” Graeff said. “The current survey suggests that some consumers are still uncertain about loosening their purse strings until they see further improvements in the economy.”

The current poll of 313 randomly selected adult residents of Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson counties was conducted between the evenings of Jan. 29 and Feb. 6. The index score is computed by adding the percentage of favorable responses  to each survey question and subtracting the percentage of negative responses.

You can view the full report here.

For more information, contact Graeff at 615-898-5124 or Tim.Graeff@mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)


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