Utah consumer confidence remains high, propelled by fast-growing labor market

After a record-setting high last month, the Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index (CAI) has remained relatively flat, decreasing only slightly from 125.4 in October to 124.4 in November.

Consumer confidence in Utah has registered above 110 since June last year, indicating that Utahns continue to be very optimistic about current economic conditions within the state, as well as optimistic about the economy’s future trajectory.

The overall Utah CAI currently sits 9.7 points higher than its level 12 months ago. In comparison, the national Consumer Confidence Index® increased 3.3 points to 129.5 this month and is 21.1 points higher than it was at this same time last year.

Although the Utah Consumer Attitude Index posted a slight decrease in the month of November, it is important to note that this is the first time in its history that the index has posted over 120 points in two consecutive months, a sign of economic health for an already robust economy. Consumer attitudes within the state have largely been bolstered by positive perceptions of current and future labor market trends. Utah currently boasts the second fastest growing labor market nationwide at 2.7 percent employment growth year over year, nearly double the national average of 1.4 percent.

The Zions Bank Present Situation Index decreased 2.5 points to 128.7, compared to the national Present Situation Index, which increased 1.9 points to 153.9. The Zions Bank Expectations Index increased 0.1 points to 121.5, and the national Expectations Index increased 4.3 points to 113.3.

“Utah is making a name for itself nationwide as a hotbed for innovation and creativity, especially within the technology sector,” said Scott Anderson, Zions Bank president and CEO. “Large technology companies like Adobe, eBay, Workday and Pluralsight are finding financial success in the state not only because of the highly skilled workers that come from Utah-based universities, but also from a statewide government that is willing to work with companies to ensure profitability and continued success.”

Utahns are recognizing the importance of business-friendly public policy within the state, as perceptions of both the local and federal government’s efforts to improve the economy have risen year over year:

  • Eighteen percent of Utahns believe the federal government is doing a good job of improving the overall U.S economy, up from 15 percent a year ago.
  • Forty-seven percent of Utahns believe the state government is doing a good job of improving the statewide economy, up from 43 percent a year ago.
  • Thirty-seven percent of Utahns believe the U.S economy will improve during the next 12 months, up from 26 percent in November of last year.

“The local government has done an excellent job of creating public policy initiatives that aim at creating a business-friendly environment statewide,” said Randy Shumway, chairman and partner of Cicero Group. “I believe that much of the success and growth we are seeing across the state of Utah can be credited to many of the economic policies that facilitate business creation and entrepreneurship statewide.”

Zions Bank provides the CAI as a free resource to the communities of Utah. The monthly CAI summary reports are released at a monthly press conference, coinciding with The Conference Board’s national CCI release date. Analysis and data collection for the CAI are done by Cicero Group, a premier data-driven strategy and research firm based in Salt Lake City.