Tennessee Consumer Outlook Index
The Tennessee Consumer Outlook Survey is an online survey of Tennessee residents conducted four times per year. Using the panel sampling services of Qualtrics.com, a stratified sampling procedure is used to ensure an equal representation of consumers from each region of the state. The results from the survey are used to calculate an index score that measures consumers’ overall perceptions, or mood, of the economy and their personal financial situation.
The Consumer Outlook Index consists of 11 questions measuring consumers’ perceptions of the current economy, the future economy, jobs, personal finances, and whether or not now is a good time to make large purchases. Four questions make up the current situation index, four questions make up the future expectations index, and three questions make up the purchasing index. The overall outlook index is based on all 11 questions combined.
Consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the American economy. Therefore, knowing how consumers feel about the economy and their personal financial situation gives business leaders insight into potential changes in the economy. As consumers become more optimistic about the economy, this can have positive effects on their spending decisions. Conversely, if consumers are feeling pessimistic about the economy, this can dampen their willingness to spend money. More positive consumer outlook measures can signal an increased willingness among consumers to spend, which can further add to growth in the economy.
Results from the Tennessee Consumer Outlook Surveys can be compared to national consumer surveys published monthly by the Conference Board (www.conference-board.org).