CT residents see the State’s economy as stagnating

Latest signs seen in release of Connecticut Consumer Confidence Data

Results for the Q3 2015 Connecticut Consumer Confidence Survey were released this week by InformCT, a public-private partnership that provides independent, non-partisan research, analysis, and public outreach to help create fact-based dialogue and action in Connecticut.  The survey, designed to generate an ongoing measure of consumer confidence in the Connecticut economy, produced the following insights:
•       Respondents who agree (strongly or somewhat) that the Connecticut economy is improving has dropped 10 points, from end of March to end of September, from one-third to less than one-quarter.
•       The percentage of those who would make a major consumer expenditure has dropped 10 points since the end of Q1 – from more than one-third to just one-quarter (26 percent).
•       Those who would refinance or purchase a home dropped by one-third, from 18 percent to 12 percent, from Q1 to Q3.
•       The percentage of respondents concerned about being able to afford health insurance has edged up, from 53 percent to 55 percent.
•       Slightly more respondents – now 9 in 10 – believe there are not enough jobs and jobs are difficult to get, and more people believe it will get worse or stay the same than at the end of Q1.

The research provides a measure of the strength of the Connecticut economy as well as a gauge of select economic factors.  Administered for InformCT by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CERC) and Smith & Company, the analysis is based on the responses of residents across Connecticut and addresses key economic issues such as overall confidence, reactions to housing prices, upscale consumer purchases, leisure spending and current investments.

“A higher percentage of respondents have accepted the fact that business conditions “are what they are” and are not going to change soon. This feeling is also reflected in the “not improving” job market,” said Alissa DeJonge, Vice President of Research at CERC.

“Many feel that they are worse off now than 6 months ago and this downward spiral may continue through the next 6 months,” added Stephen A. Smith, President of Smith & Company. “In addition, many do not feel that the Connecticut economy is improving and over half continue to express concern about their ability to retire comfortably.”

Meanwhile, Connecticut residents are evenly split on whether this is a good place to raise a family, but the percentage saying it’s unlikely they will leave has grown substantially.
•       A majority agree that Connecticut is a good place to live and raise a family (51%)
•       Those who say it is likely they will move out of state in the next five years has shifted dramatically between March and September.  The largest segment, one-third of those surveyed, say a move out of Connecticut is very unlikely.

As the state moves forward with major investments in transportation, the percentage of respondents who believe traffic congestion is severe enough to justify tolls on major highways hasn’t budged all year – only one-quarter agree.  The percentage of those who disagree has decreased slightly – from 56 to 50 percent, with 6 percent moving to the “not sure” category between Q1 and Q3.

Interestingly, the feedback around buying a car appears immune – those numbers have been nearly identical in each quarterly survey.

The Connecticut Consumer Confidence findings are a valuable and cost-effective strategic planning tool for any company or organization that wishes to take the temperature of the Connecticut consumer, such as financial services institutions, health care providers, insurers, developers, utilities, trade associations, and advertisers. Those who wish to subscribe to regular information can add proprietary questions for their own purposes.

More information about subscribing can be found at informct.org.

About the Partnership
InformCT is a public-private partnership that currently includes staff from the Connecticut Economic Resource Center and the Connecticut Data Collaborative.  Based in Rocky Hill, the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation and public-private partnership that provides economic development services consistent with state strategies, leveraging Connecticut’s unique advantages as a premier business location.
Smith & Company LLC, is a Shelton, Connecticut-based market research firm.

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