Utah, U.S. consumer confidence strengthen
The confidence of Utahns in the economy inched higher in February while Americans' attitudes rebounded, according to separate reports released Tuesday.
The Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index increased to 79.9 from 78.8 in January, reaching its highest level in four months. Economist Randy Shumway, CEO of the Cicero Group, which tracks the confidence of Utahs for Zions, said the increase wasn't statistically significant, but suggested that consumer sentiment is stabilizing after plummeting in November, when the fiscal cliff loomed.
Nationally, the Consumer Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index stands at 69.9, up from a revised 58.4 in January. Economist had expected 60.5, according to research firm FactSet.
The U.S. reading was the highest since Novembe r's 71.5. Confidence has fallen since then as shoppers continue to worry about growing economic uncertainty.
The Zions and Conference Board indicators are watched closely because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.
Both figures are still below the 90 reading that indicates a healthy economy.