A new monthly economic report has shown that for the past few months Utahns have been extremely optimistic, but in August that optimism seems to have wavered.
“So every month we survey 500 households to better understand Utah consumer perceptions," said Chad Berbert, a Zions Bank's economic consultant. "One thing that we saw this month was that perceptions about current conditions actually improved, while perceptions about future conditions actually declined.”
One of the biggest issues people might attribute this increased economic pessimism to is the ongoing trade conflict with China. However, there’s more to it than that, Berbert said.
“There’s a number of factors that we think are influencing people’s perceptions currently," he said "The fed has decided to reduce interest rate - there is a lot of discussion about the trade negotiations with China. New tariffs are gonna hit in the next few months. There has been more volatility recently in regards to the stock market. All of those things are playing into consumer psychology. Currently we’re watching that to see if it has a significant effect going forward."
Cicero Group’s CEO Randy Shumway stated that while foreign disputes might affect asset values, job growth, at least for the near future, is likely to remain strong. And, according to the CAI, only 4% of people think their wages will decline in six months, which is 2% fewer than in July.