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Q3 Arizona Business Index reveals consumer confidence down as inflation impacts bottom line

Photo of graphic of an Arizona Business Index consumer respondent
The Arizona Business Index is powered by OH predictive Insights and offers real-time data on major industry and how consumers in Arizona are perceiving those marketplaces. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)

Arizona business leaders at Greater Phoenix
Chamber offer economic translation

By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

Days ago, the results of the Q3 Arizona Business Index were released by the Greater Phoenix Chamber and found within the survey of some 1,800 Arizona respondents between the period of July 5 and Sept. 28 is the notion of economic health from the perspective of the consumer.

Spoiler alert: Consumers are worried about the economy.

“We weren’t surprised that all categories except economic optimism and credit card debt saw declines, “said Todd Sanders, president and CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber. “We know consumers are still concerned about inflation and we largely saw an increase in negative sentiments this quarter. We hope to see the market stabilize in the new year and give consumers a break on everyday expenses such as gas and food prices.”

The Arizona Business Index is powered by OH predictive Insights and offers real-time data on major industry and how consumers in Arizona are perceiving those marketplaces.

Mr. Sanders told the Arizona Digital Free Press consumers and small business owners are reticent on what the new year will bring, but he also points out there is consumer optimism found in the respondent data.

“One thing that was interesting to me is consumer confidence in urban areas is down but in rural areas there is optimism,” he said. “As we talk to folks there, broadband connectivity is a big deal, and that need was really highlighted in the survey. We want to be working with students and we want more connectivity.”

Furthermore, Mr. Sanders explains while consumer perspectives can reflect the “barometer of the marketplace,” economic indicators continue to keep the Phoenix metropolitan poised for prosperity — even in the event of recession.

“The economy remains strong as there is a significantly strong job market. I think a common trend is we are continuing to defy the laws of economics here in Arizona,” he said of the continued success story of economic development in the Valley of the Sun.” It does feel like the economy in Arizona is very strong. Given the strength of the current conditions it really does seem like the impact of any kind of slowdown will be minimized.”

Mr. Sanders says survey results show consumer confidence is down in most areas.

“I think the biggest factor has been inflation and the corresponding actions by the fed to stave inflation is having an impact,” he explained. “Those two tied together in terms of consumer confidence is what is happening in the economy.”

Arizona Business Index: consumer confidence

  • Consumer sentiment declined from 71.0 to 69.1, a drop of 1.9 between Q2 and Q3, representing the fifth consecutive quarterly decline since the last increase from Q1 to Q2 2021.
  • Confidence dropped by 1.9 for Millennials, 1.9 for Gen Z, and 3.3 for Gen X.
  • Confidence dropped from Q2 to Q3 for Urban and Suburbanites but increased by 3.8 for rural residents.

Arizona Business Index: credit card debt

  • The percentage of consumers that believe their credit card debt will decrease in the next 12 months increased by nearly 6 points from Q2 to Q3, representing the largest increase in that metric by far based on quarterly change since Q1 of 2021.
  • Nearly one-third of consumers increased debt in the past 12 months, though positive about the future.
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