Consumer Confidence in the Economy

Confidence Declines in August-October 2013 Area Household survey

Consumer confidence in the future declined among households in the five county Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA; Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall, and Stark counties) reducing the area’s Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) to 73.7 in August-October 2013 from the 75.9 found in the previous survey of January-March 2012. 

Peoria MSA surveys of consumer confidence are conducted each year by the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) of the Foster College of Business at Bradley University. The ICS measure used by the CBER replicates the ICS used nationally by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.  The ICS is based on measures of family financial condition, expectations for future family finances, expectations for business conditions in the year ahead, business cycle expectations, and assessments of buying conditions.

Declines in confidence for the future among Peoria MSA residents were reflected in less positive expectations for the future of family finances and for the future of the economy, including increasingly negative expectations for business conditions, for unemployment and  for interest rates  The local findings for confidence in the future are consistent with declines recorded nationally by the Institute for Social Research of the University of Michigan.

Although confidence for the future fell, improved assessments of current buying conditions and improved family finances were recorded among households in the Peoria MSA. 

 PeoriaICS for Q1

Background

Investigators at the Survey Research Center of University of Michigan originated the ICS as a national measure over 60 years ago.

The Center for Business and Economic Research at Bradley University began local household sample surveys of consumer confidence during the severe national recession of 1981-82, when an ICS of 53.6 was found.  The area ICS achieved expansionary (i.e., over 90) levels in late 1987.  The ICS fell to 71.7 in 1990.  Boosted briefly in April 1991 by post Gulf War euphoria, the Index fell back to 70.7 later that year, and remained low through October of 1992.  The area Index for November 1992 rose 14 points following President Clinton's election in November 1992.

The local ICS continued at favorable levels for the next eight years, peaking at 110 in the fall of 2000.  The ICS fell 12 points in early 2001, and continued to decline until it was below 90 by the time of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Solidarity following the September 11 attacks pushed the ICS upward, but later 2002 measurements revealed the resumption of the earlier downward trend that continued until early 2003. 

The ICS recovered in the context of the national expansion, and reached 92.7 by spring 2007. The ICS declined in the context of the national recession that began in December 2007, and had fallen  below 70 by the spring of 2009.  

 Method

The surveys of Peoria MSA economic attitudes are performed by Dr. Bernard Goitein, Director of Survey Research at Bradley University's Foster College of Business.  Funding for the present survey was provided by Foster College of Business.   

The survey results are based on telephone interviews with households in the Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA: Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall, and Stark Counties), performed during the evenings of August-Octoberber, 2013.   

A random sample of 601 valid listings was used, based on area telephone directories and a commercially available phone number database. Interviewers attempted to contact the designated respondent in each of the homes, using up to six contact attempts during varied days and times of day in the survey period.   

Using these procedures, 458 (76 percent) of the sampled respondents were reached and asked to participate. Interviews were successfully performed with 188 households, for a 41 percent cooperation rate.


The chances are about seven in ten that if every residence listed in area directories and the commercially available phone number database had been approached using these questionnaire administration procedures, the percentages found to the survey questions would have differed from those observed in this sample by no more than four percentage points in either direction.

Peoria MSA Consumer Sentiment Release 61

Bradley University

For a complete report, contact the Study Director, Dr. Bernard Goitein bjg@bradley.edu

(309-677-2262).