Market Decisions: ME consumer confidence up 12 percent

The consumer confidence of Maine residents has jumped 12 percent from the last quarter, according to a new report released by Portland-based Market Decisions.
Maine consumers “turned optimistic about the economy in January,” Market Decisions reported, with improvement in all measures. Maine’s Consumer Sentiment is now at 64.1, the firm said, tough Market Decisions’ President Curtis Mildner cautioned against reading too much into the increase.
“One quarter’s results do not make a trend,” said Mildner. “But it’s hard to ignore the clear evidence of improved consumer mood in the survey results.”
Questions on consumer confidence were included in Market Decisions’ most recent Maine Survey, which was conducted by telephone from January 11 to January 19, among 402 residents of Maine, 18 years of age and older. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that if the entire population of Maine residents age 18 and over were surveyed, we can expect results to be within 4.9 percent of the results of the 402-sample survey, Market Decisions explained in the release.
The index used was developed at the University of Michigan and has been in use since the 1940s, the firm said, and the measure is used to predict consumer spending.

The following data is directly from Market Decisions’ release:

Consumer Sentiment rebounded 12% in January to 64.1 from its disappointing 57.4 in October 2011.

Apr

2008

July

2008

Oct

2008

Apr

2009

July

2009

Oct

2009

Jan

2010

Apr

2010

Jul

2010

Oct

2010

Jan

2011

Apr

2011

July

2011

Oct 2011

Jan

2012

45.0

42.3

46.6

60.4

61.3

62.0

58.3

65.4

59.9

62.4

66.5

62.5

62.0

57.4

64.

Historic high: April 2000 – 104.4

Good or Bad Time for Major Purchases
Some two in five (40%) Maine residents say that now is a good time to make a major purchase. While this is a 33% improvement over the previous survey of 30%, this is still below the highest measure of the recession, 45%, reached in April 2009.

Now is a GOOD TIME for people to buy major household items

Apr

2008

July

2008

Oct

2008

Apr

2009

July

2009

Oct

2009

Jan

2010

Apr

2010

Jul

2010

Oct

2010

Jan

2011

Apr

2011

July

2011

Oct

2011

Jan

2012

22%

25%

21%

45%

43%

42%

35%

39%

35%

42%

41%

32%

31%

30%

40

Historic high: 85%, April 2000
Personal Financial Situation – Better or Worse

The percentage of Mainers that say they are worse off than one year ago has dropped 18% from 49% to 40%.  This is the lowest level since the recession began.  Unfortunately, the percentage of Mainers who expect to be better off remains stuck at about one in four (23%).

I AM WORSE OFF financially than a year ago

Apr

2008

July 2008

Oct

2008

Apr

2009

July 2009

Oct

2009

Jan

2010

Apr

2010

Jul

2010

Oct

2010

Jan

2011

Apr

2011

July

2011

Oct

2011

Jan

2012

55%

55%

57%

54%

46%

48%

45%

46%

42%

50%

41%

44%

43%

49%

40%

Historic low: 19%, April 2000

WILL BE BETTER OFF financially a year from now

Apr

2008

July

2008

Oct

2008

Apr

2009

July

2009

Oct

2009

Jan

2010

Apr

2010

Jul

2010

Oct

2010

Jan

2011

Apr

2011

July

2011

Oct 2011

Jan

2012

19%

12%

21%

30%

23%

27%

22%

22%

24%

20%

20%

18%

23%

16%

23%

Historic high: 37%, July & October 2003

 

Perceptions of Long Term Future of US Economy

Mainers’ perceptions of the US economy took a turn for the better in January 2012; the percentage that expected bad times in the next five years dropped from 65% to 49%. Conversely, about one in four (26%) expected good times.

Expect the COUNTRY AS A WHOLE to have BAD TIMES financially in the next five years

Apr

2008

July

2008

Oct

2008

Apr

2009

July

2009

Oct

2009

Jan

2010

Apr

2010

Jul

2010

Oct

2010

Jan

2011

Apr

2011

July

2011

Oct

2011

Jan

2012

68%

65%

57%

54%

52%

57%

53%

52%

60%

54%

47%

56%

58%

65%

49%

Historic low: 30%, April 2000

Expect the COUNTRY AS A WHOLE to have GOOD TIMES financially in the next five years

Apr

2008

July

2008

Oct

2008

Apr

2009

July

2009

Oct

2009

Jan

2010

Apr

2010

Jul

2010

Oct

2010

Jan

2011

Apr

2011

July

2011

Oct

2011

Jan 2012

19%

18%

26%

30%

32%

30%

37%

28%

25%

30%

37%

26%

23%

18%

26%

Historic low: 18%, July 2008 & October 2011