Mitt Romney loss prompts dramatic drop in Utah consumer sentiment

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 27 2012 11:12 p.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney emerges from backstage to concede his quest for President of the United State at his election night event at the Boston Convention Center in Boston, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012.

Stephan Savoia, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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SALT LAKE CITY — Mitt Romney wasn’t the only person disappointed by his loss in the recent presidential election. Utah consumers expressed their dismay with less confidence in the economy, according to at least one analyst.

The Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index took a major tumble this month, falling 11.2 points from its record high of 87.1 in October down to 75.9 this month. It was the largest 30-day decline in the 22-month history of the index.

By comparison, the national Consumer Confidence Index rose slightly to 73.7 — up 0.6 from the previous month.

“It was a precipitous drop” in Utah, said Randy Shumway, chief executive officer of the Cicero Group. “If you look at the degree to which Utahns supported Mitt Romney, there was real discouragement and pessimism immediately after the election.”

The outcome of the election frustrated many Utahns who do not support the economic policies of the current administration, he said. This month’s CAI reflects that disappointment, but Utah’s economic fundamentals are still intact despite the outcome of the election, Shumway said.

The Zions Bank Present Situation Index — an assessment of confidence in current business and employment conditions — fell 6.9 points to 58.9 in November compared to the national decrease of only 0.1 points to 56.6. Consumer confidence in the labor market remained relatively unchanged from October to November, but sentiment around general business conditions fell significantly, he explained

Only 21 percent of consumers said that current business conditions in their area were “good,” down 9 percent from the month prior, he said.

The Zions Bank Expectations Index — an estimate of consumer confidence in the economy six months from now — decreased even more dramatically in November dropping 14.1 points after reaching a 19-month high in October. The CCI Expectations Index increased as consumers welcomed the end of the election and the stability that comes from consistent leadership, the report stated.

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