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Utah Consumer Confidence Continues Climb Despite Higher Food and Electric Bills

Utahns’ consumer confidence continues to rise despite higher food, and utility costs. The positive outlook is being driven by the huge drops in gasoline prices according the Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index numbers released Tuesday.

Randy Shumway is the CEO of the Cicero Group which conducts the survey for Zions.

“Confidence in Utah is higher than confidence nationally; it has been every month for the last three years,” says Shumway, “but pretty consistently anywhere between 10 and 20 points higher, because things are going so much better in Utah than they are nationally.”

Shumway says the lower fuel prices have social implications as well. He says people feel safer because fewer American lives are being lost in the oil-rich Middle-East.

“The other advantage of having increased domestic energy independence is the amount of jobs that it creates here in the United States. That alone has probably been the number one impetus or benefit that we’ve experienced surrounding job increase over the last two or three years,” says Shumway.

The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index increased 0.5 % since this same time last year on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. The survey is also conducted for Zions by the Cicero Group. The similar national Consumer Price Index, released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, increased 0.6 % over the past 12 months.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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