Consumer confidence on the rise – NAR

Years of strong job gains have lifted consumers’ spirits about the economy

Consumer confidence on the rise – NAR
Consumer confidence is growing in the country, especially in rural and middle America due to years of strong, sustained job gains, according to the National Association of Realtors.

In the first quarter of the year, respondents to NAR’s housing opportunities survey saw a record 62% believing that the economy has improved – the highest percentage since the survey started four quarters ago. That’s an increase from 54% from the previous quarter and from 48% compared with March 2016.

"Confidence levels generally rise after a presidential election as the nation hopes for the best. Even though it is a highly polarized country, consumers for the most part have upbeat feelings about the economy right now," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Stronger business and consumer morale typically lead to even more hiring and spending, which in turn encourages more households to make big decisions like buying a home. These positive developments would be especially good news for prospective homebuyers in the more affordable Midwest region."

According to Yun, the surge in positive economic positive came mostly from respondents in the Midwest – where 67% were positive about the economy, compared with 51% from the previous quarter – and rural areas, where 63% believe the economy has improved, up from 43% the previous quarter.

A year ago, only 49% of Midwesterners and 35% of rural residents had positive sentiments about the economy.

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