January 6, 2022 (Salt Lake City) – Utah’s consumer sentiment declined by 1.5 points from November to December, decreasing to a year low of 75.4, according to the Kem C. Gardner Institute’s Utah Consumer Sentiment Survey. Utah consumer confidence has steadily declined from year highs experienced in March, as Utahns are increasingly becoming concerned about inflation and new waves of COVID variants.
“Clearly, inflation and the omicron variant is affecting Utah consumers’ views about the economy, both locally and nationally,” said Josh Spolsdoff, senior research economist at the Gardner Institute. “Consumer confidence in Utah, while still higher than the nation’s, appears to have been more significantly impacted by inflation and the pandemic’s latest threat.”
There is some upside; the University of Michigan’s index sentiment among all Americans improved by 3.2 points over the past month. This uptick was supported by lower-income households expecting their income to rise by 2.8% in the upcoming year. The Utah Consumer Sentiment Survey reports similar findings, with a slight increase in the number of Utahns expecting improvements in their financial situations over the next year. This outlook is likely, as Utah job seekers continue to seek higher wages in wake of the current labor shortage.
The Utah Consumer Sentiment Survey uses comparable questions to the University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers. These questions measure residents’ views of present and future economic conditions. Both surveys include a random sample of consumers, including demographic questions to assess the representativeness of the sample.
The full results are now available online.