Consumer Confidence Dips As Budget Stalemate Continues
Connecticut’s state budget stalemate has residents growing increasingly concerned about the economy and their personal finances.
The latest quarterly InformCT Consumer Confidence Survey shows 56% of residents don’t believe the state’s economy is improving, up from 44% in the first quarter.
Just 21% felt economic conditions were improving—down from 29% last quarter—while 23% were neutral or unsure (27%).
The independent, nonpartisan research policy institute said the latest quarterly results showed the highest share of negative responses about the economy since the survey began in 2015.
Less than a third (30%) of surveyed residents said their personal financial situation improved in the last six months, 29% were worse off, and 41% said their finances were unchanged.
Those findings were reflected in consumer spending plans, with only 32% likely to make a major purchase in the next six months—compared with 46% last quarter.
More than two-thirds (69%) said the budget stalemate will impact their personal budgets, up from 56% in the first quarter.
InformCT said, “It is possible the uncertainty of the state’s budget situation may be contributing to the decreased likelihood of purchasing.”
58% say lawmakers should cut government spending to resolve the state's $5.1 billion deficit.
Only 15% thought lawmakers should hike business taxes.
Pessimism about the state's business climate also grew, with 35% of residents believing business conditions were worse now than six months ago, up from 27% in the first quarter.
Forty-three percent said business conditions were unchanged, down from 50% last quarter, and 22% said they were better (23%).
One-third of respondents predicted overall business conditions would worsen in the next six months, compared with 25% last quarter, while 23% said conditions would improve (30%).
The survey did show improved perceptions about the state's job market, with a nine-point decline from a year ago in those believing jobs were very hard to find—24% versus 33%.
Fifteen percent said there were plenty of jobs now compared with six months ago, up four points from last year.
There was also a slight decline in those concerned about employment security, with 36% feeling their job was in jeopardy, down from 39% last year in the second quarter last year.
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