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Publication: State consumer confidence up

STARKVILLE — Second-quarter results from the Mississippi Index of Consumer Sentiment show an overall 5.47 percent increase, according to a new online business forecasting report.

“Economy Watch,” produced quarterly by Mississippi State University’s College of Business, is reporting that overall confidence rose to 76.42 percent for April-June, compared to 72.46 percent for the first quarter.

Based on data collected by the university’s Survey Research Laboratory, the more than 530 individuals responded to the latest economic survey “represent a statistically significant sample of Mississippians’ consumer confidence,” said EW editor Rebecca Campbell Smith.

Smith said, “Most of the gains in the index stem from an 11.04 percent increased confidence in current conditions, compared to a 3.95 percent increase in the future expectations,” she added.

When compared to the rest of the nation, Mississippi “matches the high confidence in current conditions, but is far more optimistic about the future than the rest of the nation,” Smith noted.

Other significant points in the report include:

– Second-quarter condition results stand at 73.03 percent, compared to 65.77 for the first quarter of the year. Future conditions for the second quarter are calculated at 78.60 over the first quarter results of 75.61.

– The employment segment shows those who are self-employed to be much less optimistic about current and future conditions, while those unemployed are very pessimistic, but strongly optimistic about the future.

– Younger respondents say they remain more optimistic overall because of higher future expectations.

Developed earlier this year in collaboration with BankPlus, “Economy Watch” is replacing economic forecasting and analysis programs previously maintained by the State Institutions of Higher Learning’s university research center.

The complete second-quarter edition of “Economy Watch” may be accessed at www.economywatch.msstate.edu.

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