SALT LAKE CITY — The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index increased slightly in June, rising by 3.3 points from 111.9 in May to 115.2 in June. Consumer confidence in Utah has registered above 110 since June last year, indicating that attitudes about continued economic prosperity remain consistently optimistic.
The overall index currently registers 3.7 points higher than its level 12 months ago. In comparison, the national Consumer Confidence Index increased 1.3 points to 118.9 this month registering 7.4 points higher than the same time last year, the report stated.
"We can characterize it as a steady state of confidence," said Aaron Andersen of the Cicero Group. "We're very clearly in territory where (Utahns) are optimistic and confident on an ongoing basis."
He noted that consumer confidence in the Utah economy could be traced back in large part to the state's perception as a business-friendly environment that allows Utah to recover more quickly from economic challenges that might impact the national economy more significantly. But more recently, the U.S. economy has gained some momentum and become stronger over the past several months, he added.
Andersen said a combination of factors will shape the state's economic outlook in the upcoming months.
"Typically speaking, looking out at the horizon, it's a matter of looking at the big picture trends," he explained. "When you start to see trends (occur), that's when you start to worry. Not just a blip, not just a momentary fluctuation, but where are the trends going with housing, jobs, energy prices … you name it?"
He said until the economy shows significant signs of slowing down, there is little reason to be concerned in the near term.
"Right now, the good news is all the indicators are lined up around ongoing good information," Andersen said. "That's why folks feel so confident (about the local economy)."
The Zions Bank Present Situation Index climbed 6 points to register at 126.3, compared to the national Present Situation Index, which rose 5.7 points to hit 146.3 for the month. The Zions Bank Expectations Index — an indicator of economic sentiments over the next six months — rose 1.6 points to register at 107.8, while the national Expectations Index decreased 1.7 points to register at 100.6.
The overall index is based on a representative sample of 500 Utah households surveyed monthly by Cicero Group with a confidence interval of plus or minus 4.38 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. The data is compared to both local and national data from previous months to identify key consumer sentiment trends in the state.
“Perceptions of the overall economy within Utah continue to demonstrate strength.” said Randy Shumway, chairman and partner of Cicero Group. “As consumers remain positive about their economic futures, they will continue to invest in the statewide economy, increasing the number of jobs available in Utah and increasing the standard of living for many Utahns.”