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Roanoke College Poll: Consumer Sentiment and Price Expectations in Virginia

February 10, 2012

SALEM, Va., Feb. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Virginians remain relatively optimistic about the future, finds a new survey by The Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion Research (IPOR). IPOR surveyed 616 Virginians on their finances, general business conditions now and in the future, their inclination for purchasing durable goods, and their thoughts on prices.

The Virginia Index of Current Conditions (VAICC) considers household financial situations compared to the past year and consumer willingness to purchase durable goods such as refrigerators and furniture. The Virginia Index of Consumer Expectations (VAICE) gauges household expectations of their finances and business conditions in the coming year. The Virginia Index of Consumer Sentiment (VAICS) is an aggregate measure of current conditions and future beliefs of Virginia households.

The February VAICC is 78, up 22 percent from November, compared to the preliminary national value of 79.6. The national number dropped more than expected from January to February, but is a slight increase from November 2011. Twenty-eight percent of Virginians report being better off financially than a year ago, compared to only 23 percent for the nation as a whole. Additionally, 43 percent of Virginians feel that now is a good time to buy big ticket items, the majority citing the low prices and deals available.

The VAICE is 87, up 14 percent from November, suggesting that households are optimistic that their financial situation and business conditions will improve over the next year. Over a third of Virginians reported a belief that they would be better off financially a year from now. Comparably, the nation is less optimistic about the coming year. The national preliminary ICE is 68.

The VAICS is 83, an increase of 18 percent since November and considerably higher than the preliminary national value of 72.5. The national preliminary values are based on a sample of 250 to 300 consumers. The final national November values will be released February 24, 2012.

Potential reasons for the greater optimism in Virginia versus the nation include a statewide unemployment rate that is 2 points lower than the national rate of 8.3 percent and per capita income that is more than 10 percent higher than the national average.

More information may be found on the Roanoke College website: http://bit.ly/AbuB4k

SOURCE Roanoke College


Source: PR Newswire