Consumer Confidence Scores Biggest Year-to-Year Rise In KY, TN, AL and Miss.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Feb. 13, 2004 -- The East South Central region has scored the biggest gains in consumer confidence over the last year, according to an analysis released today by The Conference Board. This area – which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi – has also registered solid increases in help-wanted job advertising in key cities in this region (Birmingham, Knoxville, Louisville, Memphis and Nashville). The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index for this region has climbed from 76.2 to 104.1 over the last year. During the same period, The Conference Board’s Help-Wanted Job Advertising Index for the region – a major barometer of America’s job market – advanced from 80 to 85 for this region. As Birmingham Goes… Says Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein: “The East South Central region was red hot back in the late 1990s. It would not be surprising if this region becomes one of the first to catch fire now that the economy, and even the job market, is starting to boom. Nothing soothes the consumers’ nerves more than reports of more jobs opening up. That is the major factor in consumer confidence. Far more important, at least early in 2004, is that as Birmingham goes, so goes the nation.” Also showing striking gains in consumer confidence are states in the Pacific region, which includes Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska and Hawaii. The New England region, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, also improved considerably. In the Pacific region, consumer confidence increased from 69.7 to 95.5 over the last year. In New England, the Index climbed from 74.4 to 98.7. Consumer confidence also improved markedly in the West North Central, South Atlantic and Mountain regions, with each region marking gains of over 20 points in the last year. The Help-Wanted Advertising Index also advanced in the Mountain region, where it rose from 53 to 66 over the last year. East North Central Weakest Consumer confidence has been weakest in the East North Central region, which includes Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Here, consumer confidence has only increased 4.2 points from a year ago. Help-wanted advertising has remained flat during this period, edging up only one point – from 33 to 34. US Regions: West North Central:Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas West South Central:Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas New England:Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont Middle Atlantic:New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania South Atlantic:Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida Mountain: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada Pacific: Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Hawaii East North Central:Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin East South Central: Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi