TULSA, OK – The inaugural report of the Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey was released today and indicates the sentiment of Oklahoma consumers on the economy is higher than that of consumers in the neighboring states of Arkansas and Missouri. All three trailed the national consumer sentiment index for June as reported by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan.
The Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey is conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) in the Sam M. Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas. The University of Oklahoma’s Public Opinion Learning Laboratory conducted the 1,200 phone surveys.
The consumer sentiment index for Oklahoma was 76.4, ahead of Arkansas (67.4) and Missouri (68.6). The national index for June is 82.5.
In discussing the results, Russell Evans, director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research & Policy Institute at Oklahoma City University, said, “Oklahoma consumers appear less optimistic than Oklahoma economic data might suggest they should be. It’s particularly surprising that Oklahoma consumers are less optimistic than the rest of the nation. The statewide unemployment rate is 1.5 points lower than the nation, employment is 2.3 percent higher than pre-recession peak employment, and Oklahoma population grew 0.2 points faster than the national average from 2010 to 2013 (2.6 percent vs 2.4 percent). If current economic conditions continue, I suspect Oklahomans will be more optimistic in the future.”
Kirk Hays, EVP/Sales Manager, for Arvest Bank Tulsa, said, “Arvest decided to sponsor this survey in order to have beneficial data for their communities and customers. The data provides an accurate reading of how consumers are feeling about the economy in the states where the bank operates.
“These first results give better, more localized, information than has been available in the past. Since consumers drive the majority of economic activity, it is important to simply know where people in the state stand in their views. Additionally, with future results, consumers, as well as the business community, will be able see if sentiment is trending up or down with sentiment nationally,” Hays said.
The Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey will be conducted twice a year, with the next survey expected to be completed in late November. With each study, the index score will be released first, followed by additional information regarding specifics of consumer activities and plans.