Arvest Consumer Sentiment Index Summary for September 2015
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Nov. 4, 2015)—The Arvest Consumer Sentiment Index is based on methodology developed by the University of Michigan for its national-level Index of Consumer Sentiment. It is based on five questions that evaluate consumer perceptions about their current and future finances, current and future business conditions, plans to purchase major household items, current level of consumer debt, current and planned savings, and demographic information. Researchers collected these perceptions using telephone surveys conducted in September 2015.
*Revised by the University of Michigan
Arkansas consumer sentiment declined slightly from March to September 2015. Arkansas was the only state of the three surveyed to have a decline since March. However, while the national consumer sentiment index fell 5.8 percentage points, Arkansas' index fell by only 0.6 percentage points. While concerns for the national and global economies and uncertainties in the stock market likely contributed to the falling sentiment; lower gas prices, a drop in the unemployment rate and slowly rising incomes are believed to have negated a larger decrease. In September, the Arvest Consumer Sentiment Index for Arkansas was 77.8, down from 79.1 in March 2015, and lower than the regional reading of 82.6.
Consumers within Missouri are growing in confidence that the economic recovery is here to stay although they do show some signs of caution. Missouri consumers expressed a more realistic view of the state's economy, feeling more confident than the rest of the region and almost as confident as the nation as a whole. This should lead to consumers in Missouri being more comfortable making large purchases and possibly taking on additional debt to finance these purchases, dependent on continued job growth in the state as well as a steady growth in wages.
Oklahoma experienced a small increase in consumer sentiment in September, with the sentiment index improving to 85.0 from the 84.8 reading in March 2015. The sentiment improved slightly in September even as the state's primary industry adjusts to low crude oil prices and the developing expectations that a low price environment could linger for several years. Time will tell if consumer confidence and broad economic health in the state can offset weakness in the state's oil and gas industry that will persist into 2016.
Index by Income
|All Families||Families Under $75,000||Families Over $75,000|
Index by Age Subgroup
|Ages 18-24||Ages 25-44||Ages 45-64||Ages 65+|
Index by Educational Attainment
|High School or Less||Bachelor's Degree||Graduate Degree|
Index by Presence of Children in the Home
Index by Employement Status
|Employed||Unemployed||Not in Labor Force|
Index by Homeownership Status