State Capitol News
9:53 am
Tue July 27, 2010

Poll Shows Arizona Consumer Confidence is Dropping

Phoenix, AZ – The state's consumer confidence index now stands at 49.1. That
compares with 50.2 at the beginning of the year -- and nearly 102
three years ago. The number is based on how people feel about the
economy now and how they think things will be six months down the
road. And it's important because it reflects whether people are
willing to open up their wallets. Arizona State University
economics professor Lee McPheters said a lot of what's driving
the numbers down is the lack of new jobs.

(And so they're thinking, am I going to be next on the
unemployment rolls. It's just not a situation where if you lose
your job you can jump to some other job.)

McPheters said part of the problem is chicken and egg. As long as
Arizonans lack confidence that things are going to get better,
they won't spend money. But without spending on big-ticket items
the economy won't improve.

(If everybody feels that this isn't the time to buy, then your
measure of car sales and furniture sales, trips to Target and all
of that, they're cut back. People don't eat out as much. So we're
just kind of stuck until the Arizona economy starts creating jobs
again.)

And McPheters said he really doesn't expect that to start
happening this year. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard
Fischer.