Report: State’s consumer confidence waning
by MBJ Staff
Published: August 17,2011
STARKVILLE — Mississippians were less confident about the economy in the second quarter of 2011, with slow income growth, housing market uncertainty and higher commodity prices for some items, including food and beverages, among their concerns.
The latest Mississippi Index of Consumer Sentiment is showing a 1.5-point drop in confidence, taking the MSICS to a value of 76.5. This reading is consistent with recent values, but remains far short of a value of 90, which, historically, has been considered healthy.
“While the overall economy is expanding, the pace is very slow,” said editor Becky Smith of “Economy Watch” at Mississippi State University. “Mississippians are not seeing new jobs being created, and their optimism about where they are economically is very contained. Our research indicates consumers are less optimistic about growth prospects and job creation in the coming year.”
“Economy Watch” is published in cooperation with BankPlus and Entergy.
Other second-quarter survey findings include:
• Most consumers expect a slight decline of living standards because they anticipate no growth of income and rising prices of certain commodities. Very small gains in spending are expected in the second half of 2011.
• Overall, consumers expect moderately rising prices. Despite recent declines in gas prices, consumers are still concerned about higher future fuel and food costs stressing their families’ budgets. Housing, apparel, transportation, and medical care costs also saw modest increases.
• In Mississippi, employment has declined by 4,200 jobs between April and May across almost every sector as employers dealt with the national economic slowdown, severe weather and Mississippi River flooding. Despite the slow pace of job creation, there are some expectations of employment gains in the second half of the year.
More than 500 telephone surveys conducted by MSU’s Survey Research Laboratory produced the statistically significant results for the second quarter report.
Onyumbe Lukongo wrote the consumer confidence report for the latest issue of “Economy Watch,” while Brent Evans provided a 2011-15 economic forecast. Both are MSU College of Business doctoral students.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTERMy Tweets
Twang & Tourism: The Country Music Trail
Top Posts & Pages
- Officials set hunting dates for birds; expands dove season by 20 days
- FLIPPING OUT — Flipping houses is popular in much of the country, but in Mississippi ...
- REVVING UP — Motorcars of Jackson is preparing to open its first-ever showroom on I-55
- Brandon man hauls in record 756-pound alligator
- MBJ Special report: MDA numbers help with cities’ retail pitches
- Is cotton looking too good? Farmers facing weaker prices
- COO of TL Wallace Construction keeps eye on revenue growth and profits
- Nehi Bottling Company has been a Cleveland fixture for 85 years
- Woman found guilty of murder in buttocks injection case