STARKVILLE – Unemployment is still near double digits in the Magnolia State and most consumers are yet to get their credit card tallies for holiday spending. But Mississippians were upbeat as the year ended, the latest Mississippi Index of Consumer Sentiment shows.
The index for the fourth quarter of 2010 shows consumer confidence continues to show improvement since beginning a climb in September.
Becky Smith, editor of the Mississippi State University-based “Economy Watch” business there’s even more good news as Mississippians are seeing their highest level of overall confidence in two years.
“When looking at current conditions, the index saw an 11-point percentage jump from the first quarter of 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2010, with positive consumer feedback at its highest since our survey began,” Smith says. The recently recorded fourth quarter percentage stands at 76.8, while the first quarter number in 2009 was 65.8.
Improved economic conditions mean that state residents have a more positive outlook on their futures as well. Survey participants responded with the greatest percentage increase on the entire questionnaire when asked about next year’s family financial conditions.
Smith said, “Interviewees who held positive attitudes about next year’s financial situation accounted for 35.5 percent in the survey’s fourth quarter, and that’s up from 22 percent in the third.”
Moreover, the MSU College of Business economist said positive attitudes about purchasing major household items have increased by 5.1 percent since last September.
Want to know more? Click on www.economywatch.msstate.edu.