Talk Business is pleased to announce our newest tool for business and economic leaders – the quarterly Arkansas Consumer Confidence Report sponsored by Delta Trust and Bank.
This new quarterly analysis will give a snapshot of Arkansas attitudes on a broad range of important economic decision-making areas such as business conditions, job prospects, personal finances and consumer spending.
"I’m convinced that businesses will use this as a tool," said J. French Hill, Delta Trust and Bank CEO. "When you start seeing the relative change in this index going forward and comparing that to the mix of the Conference Board indicators nationally, this will give a business person some real judgment."
In our first report, consumer confidence among Arkansans would best be described as full of caution, concern and slim hope. Talk Business surveyed 614 Arkansans in a statewide telephone poll on February 21, 2011 to obtain the results of this survey.
Positive prospects regarding personal financial situations, job opportunities and future business conditions ranged from single-digit optimism to the low-teens. In general, Arkansans are extremely dissatisfied and pessimistic about the economy at the state and national levels.
"The report, I think, reflects reality. Among our customers across the state, we still see caution," said Hill, whose comments can be read in the report and seen in the accompanying video at the bottom of this post.
The most positive numbers from the report indicate that despite the negativity about the economy, Arkansans are poised to pick up their spending habits. We asked:
Q: As a consumer, do you think you will be spending more money or less money for goods and services in the next six months?
41% Spending More
29% Spending Less
30% About the Same
"If you are a ‘glass is half-full’ person, you can deduce that more than 70% will maintain or expand their current spending levels, while less than 30% will pare back. This has to be viewed as good news," said Roby Brock, Editor-in-Chief of Talk Business.
Many of the questions asked in the Arkansas Consumer Confidence Report mirror questions asked by national consumer surveys, such as the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index.
"We hope that the plethora of national data that is out there plus this unique insight on Arkansas attitudes will equip state business leaders and decision-makers with key information helpful to their business planning," Brock said.
This poll was conducted by Talk Business Research. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/- 3.9%, was completed using IVR survey technology on Monday, February 21, 2011 among 614 registered Arkansas voters statewide.
All media outlets are welcome to reprint, reproduce, or rebroadcast information from this poll with proper attribution to Talk Business.