Boston-based consulting and research firm Mass Insight reported a sharp decline in consumer confidence in the third quarter of this year.
The Mass Insight Consumer Confidence Index, which measures consumer sentiment on current and future economic conditions, dropped nine points between the second and third quarter to 79. This follows a six-point increase in the second quarter, and was fueled by a dramatic increase in optimism about the future of the Bay State economy, according to Mass Insight.
The index’s future expectations reading fell 17 points in the third quarter to 86 – the lowest score since July 2011. Meanwhile, optimism on current conditions increased three points to 69 since the second quarter.
Massachusetts consumer confidence, which has exceeded national sentiment in recent quarters, is now lower than U.S. consumer confidence, which stood at 91 in the third quarter, according to the Conference Board.
“While the longer-term trend remains positive, Massachusetts residents are skittish about the future, far more so than the rest of the country,” Mass Insight President William H. Guenther said in a statement. “With the upcoming gubernatorial transition, the commonwealth needs to offer a clear, achievable strategy for creating more jobs and fueling economic growth.”