A recent InformCT Consumer Confidence Survey conducted with Connecticut residents indicated that overall optimism about Connecticut’s economy is on the rise. Respondents continue to express optimism about the condition of the state’s economy and their personal financial situation, with many indicators hitting their highest positive responses since the survey began in 2015. The state is likely to see the results of the increased optimism through an uptick in buying consumer goods.
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%.
The survey results showed a 5-point increase over last quarter in the percentage of respondents who felt that overall business conditions in Connecticut are better now than they were six months ago – 23% in total. This represented the highest level since this time last year. In addition, the percentage of respondents agreeing that the Connecticut economy is improving was at the highest level in over a year.
In addition, there was a 4-point increase over last quarter in respondents’ who felt that they are much better off from a personal financial standpoint than they were six months ago, which is tied for the survey’s all-time high with Q2 2016 levels.
However, respondents had mixed reactions with respect to their personal financial situation six months into the future. The shares of respondents who expressed optimism about the future and those who expressed pessimism grew from the previous quarter, while the share who thought they would remain the same shrunk.
The percentage of respondents who are planning to purchase a new car was at an all-time high, as was the percentage of respondents expecting to purchase a major consumer good (such as furniture). There was slight growth in the percentage of respondents who said they are very likely to refinance their home or purchase a new one. There also was a slight increase in the proportion of respondents who agreed that they would have enough money for a comfortable retirement, another all-time high.
Health insurance costs continue to be a concern among Connecticut residents. The survey showed an increase of respondents in this area compared to last year at this time.
In terms of job outlook, there was an increase over last quarter in the percentage of respondents who feel that there are plenty of jobs in Connecticut for anyone who wants to work (16%), which was the largest percentage of people with this sentiment since the survey began. This last quarter also saw the lowest percentage of respondents feeling that jobs are very hard to get in Connecticut (23%).
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.