Mass. Consumer Confidence Suffers Setback

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Mass. Consumer Confidence Suffers Setback:
After Sharp Fourth Quarter Jump, First Quarter Score Heads Down By Nine

Boston (February 15, 2013) – The Massachusetts Consumer Confidence Index saw clear downward movement in the First Quarter of 2013 as the overall score slipped nine points from 91 to 82, eliminating the sharp, 10-point increase observed last quarter. The dip in the index score was fueled mostly by a decrease in evaluations of future expectations, despite a stable perspective on current economic conditions.

“The people of The Commonwealth, like the rest of the nation, seem to be accepting a new normal in their economic outlook,” said William H. Guenther, Chairman and CEO of Mass Insight. “The ongoing uncertainty about the availability of jobs coupled with stagnant income levels continues to unsettle Massachusetts residents.”

The Consumer Confidence Index is calculated quarterly on a scale of zero to 200. Over the past two decades, the index hit a high of 136 in January 2000, and a low of 38 in January 2009.

A strong indicator of confidence is how people feel about the availability of jobs and the ease at finding employment. In this first quarter survey of 2013, 46 percent of the respondents felt jobs were “scarce” and 62 percent thought there would be the same or fewer jobs available in six months’ time.

More than a quarter of people polled reported that either they or someone in their household had been involuntarily unemployed in the last month, a figure that has remained steady for three years, indicating an ongoing unemployment issue in Massachusetts.

Mass Insight Global Partnerships, founded in 1989, is a Boston-based consulting and research firm that builds regional and global alliances between higher education, industry and government. Mass Insight organizes collaborative initiatives to shape public-private actions and develop innovative partnerships.

Related Publication

See Consumer Confidence Report, Winter 2013-Q1