August 29, 2012

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Consumer Price Index Down Slightly, Attitude Stable

Di Lewis

August 29, 2012

The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) decreased .3 percent from June to July, while the Consumer Attitude Index (CAI) remained stable in the same time period, said Randy Shumway, The Cicero Group CEO.

The CPI, which tracks the average price of thousands of items, decreased largely due to falling gasoline prices. Shumway said they would have decreased more if housing had not gone up half a percent.

“It’s a very positive indicator for a rebound in our overall economy,” he said.

However the media attention given to the election is creating a negative effect on the CAI, he said, which has been essentially flat for the third month in a row. Shumway expects consumer attitudes and confidence to increase after the election.

Whatever the outcome of the election, he said, it will provide stability for business and consumers. “Everybody has their preference of who is elected, but the issue is really businesses and consumers are waiting for the dust to settle, waiting for stability. Right now what’s holding us back is the unknown,” Shumway said.

Shumway held the press conference at Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli, where Marketing Director Matt Caputo said he has seen the Utah market bounding back. Caputo said he still does shifts around the market and gets to see what customers are talking about and buying.

The market carries products in a variety of price points, and in the last three months especially, he said people have begun buying the higher-end range of products. Caputo said he’s glad they continued to stock the higher-end products, like in prosciutto, because now the market is poised to immediately meet customer demand.

“Thank goodness I’m absolutely obsessed with quality cured pig because in the last three months, we’ve seen an uptick,” he said. “… The prosciutto index here at Tony Caputo’s, I can say, has been at the highest it’s been in three years.”

In summary, Shumway says in Utah “prices are slightly down, confidence is stable and prosciutto is up.”

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