California consumer confidence hits pre-recession high
Chapman University’s California Composite Index of Consumer Confidence increased to 92.3 in the second quarter compared with the first quarter’s revised reading of 89.8. The current reading represents the highest confidence level since the reading of 94.4 in the third quarter of 2007. An index level below 100, however, reflects a higher percentage of pessimistic consumers versus those who are optimistic.
The current economic conditions index increased from a revised February reading of 81.3 to 83.7 in May of 2012. The index measuring future economic conditions however decreased significantly to a reading of 96.2 in May of 2012 from a revised reading of 106.9 in February. The uncertainty emanating from potential tax increases both at the state and federal level is negatively impacting consumers’ outlook for future conditions.
The index measuring consumers’ planned spending on big-ticket items increased substantially from the revised February reading of 72.5. The surge in this index to a reading of 101.7 may have been fueled by lower interest rates particularly mortgage rates. In addition, while high gasoline prices curtailed planned spending in the first quarter of this year, the gradual decline in prices is leaving consumers with a higher disposable income inducing a higher level of planned spending.
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Source : Realtor Magazine
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