UTAH

Economist says consumer sentiment shows “growing economic optimism”

Jan 4, 2024, 2:00 PM

Image of U.S. currency, According to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, Utah consumer sentiment h...

According to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, Utah consumer sentiment has risen. (Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s consumer sentiment rose 8.4% in Dec. 2023, according to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

The number signals “growing economic optimism,” according to Phil Dan, chief economist at the Gardner Institute. 

Consumer sentiment refers to how optimistic or pessimistic consumers feel about the economy, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

“Despite higher interest rates, banking turmoil, and elevated inflation during the year, the economy appears to have expanded in all four quarters of 2023, buoyed by strong labor markets, continued robust consumer spending, and elevated but moderating inflation,” said Dean. 

According to a press release, a survey conducted by the University of Michigan displayed similar results. The Michigan study examined nationwide consumer sentiment, revealing that it has increased by 13.7%. 

Consumer sentiment survey

The Gardener Policy Institute survey consisted of seven questions. Five of the questions that appeared in the Utah survey were identical to those asked by Michigan, according to the University of Utah. 

Two of the questions pertained to respondent’s views of national economic conditions. Another pair of questions were specific to Utah’s economic conditions. 

Researchers calculated the index scores via the percentage difference between those who responded “favorable” and “unfavorable.” To reach the final index score, 100 was added to each. 

“For example, Utah’s score for the first question is 88. This means the “unfavorable” replies outnumber the “favorable” replies by 12 percentage points,” per the report produced by the study authors

Despite the increase in Utah and across the U.S., a graph included in the study reflected that consumer sentiment is still lower than they were before the onset of the pandemic. 

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Economist says consumer sentiment shows “growing economic optimism”