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Anticipated Rise In Vacationing May Indicate Increased Financial Confidence In Connecticut

Also Younger Residents Spend More Online Versus In-store

Connecticut residents appear to be increasingly optimistic about their personal financial situations with 78% saying they plan to take a vacation outside Connecticut in the next six months, according to the latest InformCT Consumer Confidence Survey. This is the highest percentage of respondents expressing this opinion since the survey began in Q1 2015, which is 14 percentage points higher than the survey one year ago. Those very unlikely to take a vacation outside the state reached an all-time low (14%) this quarter.

This overall positive sentiment falls in line with the 4 percentage point increase over last quarter in respondents’ feeling that they are much better off from a personal financial standpoint than they were six months ago. Nine percent of respondents reported feeling much better off, which is also tied for the survey’s all-time high with Q2 2016.

The survey is released quarterly by InformCT, a public-private partnership that provides independent, non-partisan research, analysis, and public outreach to help create fact-based dialogue and action in Connecticut. Administered by researchers from the Connecticut Data Collaborative, Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. and Smith & Company, the analysis is based on the responses of residents across Connecticut and addresses key economic issues such as overall confidence, attitudes toward the economy, personal finance, leisure spending, consumer purchases, housing prices, government programs and current investments. This quarter’s survey of 505 state residents has a margin of error of 4%.

 More than half of respondents (64%) in the survey reported spending less than a quarter of their spending for consumer goods online versus in a physical store in an average month. Only 10% of respondents reported spending at least 50% of the total online and was mainly comprised of younger respondents (ages 18-25) and younger workers (ages 26-35). Those older than 65 generally bought consumer goods in physical stores, with 65% of respondents in that age group doing less than 10% of the spending online.

Online shoppers said they were most likely to buy clothing (41%) followed by electronics (25%). More than 50% of those ages 36-45 reported that most of their online shopping is for clothes, while those ages 18-21 were most likely to report that most of their online shopping was for appliances (12% versus 0%-5% for the other age ranges). Those ages 22-25 were most likely to report that most of their online shopping was for electronics (42%).

The InformCT Consumer Confidence findings are a valuable and cost-effective strategic planning tool for organizations that wishes to take the temperature of the Connecticut consumer, such as financial services institutions, health care providers, insurers, developers, utilities, trade associations, and advertisers. Subscribers can add proprietary questions for their own purposes and evaluate responses by geography and demographic characteristics. More information about subscribing can be found at InformCT.org.