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Utahns Less Confident About Economic Future

Salt Lake City— The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index (CAI) decreased 0.1 points to 113.1 in August. The year-over-year CAI ticked down slightly by 1.8 points. In comparison, the national Consumer Confidence Index®decreased 0.7 points to 135.1 this month.

The Utah Present Situation Index increased 7.8 points to 132.7. Utahns’ increased confidence in job availability drove the increase. In August, 65 percent of Utahns feel that jobs are plentiful, an increase of 4 percent since July and the second-highest number recorded since Zions Bank began measuring Utahns’ attitude about the economy in 2011.

The Utah Expectations Index dropped 5.4 points to 100.1. Utahns feel more pessimistic about where business conditions and job availability will be in six months, with 6 percent fewer Utahns predicting business conditions will improve in Utah and 5 percent more Utahns thinking there will be fewer jobs available six months from now. 

Yet even with some Utahns feeling worse about future business conditions and job availability, their pessimism isn’t dampening their feelings about their own household earnings; 36 percent of Utahns feel that their household income will be higher six months from now. Only 4 percent feel that their income will be lower six months from now, which is 2 percent lower than July.

“Utahns continue to feel confident about their personal economic situation, while also expressing increasing uncertainty regarding the broader economy,” said Scott Anderson, Zions Bank president and CEO. “The fact that so many Utahns feel confident in their future household income shows that despite uncertainty about the future, they do not necessarily see conditions getting worse.”

Meanwhile, how the trade war with China affects the American economy remains an important question.

“As we hear talk about the possibility of economic turbulence, it is important to remember the fundamentals. Job growth in Utah remains strong, as does income growth,” said Randy Shumway, chairman, and partner of Cicero Group. “Exogenous economic shocks may affect asset values, but at least for the near term they are not expected to affect the positive employment conditions here in Utah, which will buttress continued strong consumer spending in the state.”

Zions Bank provides the CAI as a free resource to the communities of Utah. The monthly CAI summary reports are released at a monthly press conference, coinciding with The Conference Board’s national CCI release date. Analysis and data collection for the CAI are done by Cicero Group, a premier management consulting firm focused on implementing data-driven strategies for a broad mix of private, public, and social sector organizations across the globe. The September CAI will be released during a press conference at a local business at 10:30 a.m. on September 24.

About Zions Bank

Zions Bank is Utah’s oldest financial institution and is the only local bank with a statewide distribution of branches, operating 99 full-service branches. Zions Bank also operates 25 branches in Idaho and Wyoming. In addition to offering a wide range of traditional banking services, Zions Bank is also a leader in small business lending and has ranked as the No. 1 lender of U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) loans in Utah for the past 25 consecutive years. Founded in 1873, Zions Bank has been serving the communities of Utah for more than 145 years. Additional information is available at www.zionsbank.com. A division of Zions Bancorporation N.A., Member FDIC.