This section of the Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey deals with determining the expectations and attitudes of consumers toward current and future personal finances, general business conditions and buying conditions. Data from those questions is tabulated into the Current Conditions Sub-Index and the Consumer Expectations Sub-Index, which are used in turn to determine the overall Arvest Consumer Sentiment Index previously released on May 12.

Regional Economic Outlook

Respondents were more optimistic in March compared to October when asked if their current financial situation was better or worse than their situation a year ago. The sub-index increased from 93.0 in October to 103.0 in March. They were also far more optimistic in March about their expected financial situation in a year with a sub-index of 118.0. The survey respondents were less optimistic about the prospects for general business conditions over the next year and next five years, as more respondents reported that they expect poor economic conditions. This muted optimism is reflected in the March sub-index reading of 95.0 for business conditions in a year and 97.0 for economic conditions over the next five years, although both readings were higher than those reported in October. Respondents in March were also very positive about buying conditions in the next six months with a sub-index of 135.0. Overall, respondents from the region were less pessimistic about the future economic conditions and more positive about their current status in March than they were in October. The current conditions sub-index increased to 92.2 in March, while the consumer expectations sub-index increased to 77.4.

Arkansas

Respondents were far more optimistic in March than in October when asked if their current financial situation was better or worse than a year ago, as the sub-index climbed from 86.0 in October to 101.0 in March. They were also more optimistic in March about their expected financial situation in one year with a sub-index of 115.0 compared to 105.0 in October. The survey respondents were less pessimistic about general business conditions over the next year and next five years compared to October. This decreased pessimism is reflected in the March sub-index reading of 83.0 for business conditions in a year and 91.0 for economic conditions over the next five years. Respondents in March were a lot more positive about buying conditions in the next six months with a sub-index of 131.0. Overall, respondents from Arkansas were less pessimistic about future economic conditions and more positive about their current status in March than in October. The current conditions sub-index increased to 89.6 in March, while the consumer expectations sub-index increased to 72.4.

Missouri

Missouri respondents were more optimistic in March than in October when asked if their current financial situation was better or worse than a year ago, as the sub-index increased from 93.0 to 101.0. They were also more optimistic in March about the expected financial situation in a year, as indicated by a sub-index of 119.0. The survey respondents also expressed optimism about the outlook for general business conditions over the next year and next five years, as fewer respondents reported that they expect poor economic conditions over that time period. This optimism was reflected in the March sub-index reading of 101.0 for business conditions in a year and 106.0 for economic conditions over the next five years. Respondents in March were positive about buying conditions in the next six months with a sub-index of 135.0. Overall, respondents from Missouri were more optimistic about their current status and future economic conditions in March than in October. The current conditions sub-index increased to 91.2, while the consumer expectations sub-index increased to 81.3.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma residents were more positive about their current financial situation in March compared to October. The current conditions sub-index increased from 101.0 in October to 109.0 in March. They were also more optimistic when asked in March about the expected financial situation in a year than they were in October, indicated by an increase to 121.0. The survey respondents were less pessimistic about the outlook for general business conditions over the next year and next five years, as fewer respondents reported that they expect poor economic conditions. This reduced pessimism is reflected in the March sub-index reading of 99.0 for business conditions in a year and 92.0 for economic conditions over the next five years. Respondents in March were positive about buying conditions in the next six months with a sub-index of 138.0. Overall, respondents from Oklahoma were less pessimistic about their current status and future economic conditions in March. The current conditions sub-index increased to 95.5 and the consumer expectations sub-index climbed to 77.8.

Current Financial Situation Compared with a Year Ago

Better Off Same Worse Off Responses Index Score
Regional 23% 58% 19% 1,171 103.0
Arkansas 22% 57% 21% 382 101.0
Missouri 21% 59% 20% 393 101.0
Oklahoma 27% 56% 17% 396 109.0

Expected Change in Financial Situation Compared in a Year

Better Off Same Worse Off Responses Index Score
Regional 33% 53% 14% 1,144 118.0
Arkansas 30% 55% 15% 373 115.0
Missouri 34% 52% 14% 386 119.0
Oklahoma 34% 52% 13% 385 121.0

Expected Change in Business Conditions in a Year

Good Times Uncertain Bad Times Responses Index Score
Regional 34% 27% 39% 1,089 95.0
Arkansas 29% 25% 46% 355 83.0
Missouri 37% 28% 36% 366 101.0
Oklahoma 36% 27% 37% 368 99.0

Expected Change in Business Conditions in 5 Years

Continuous
Good Times
Widespread
Unemployment
Other Responses Index Score
Regional 42% 45% 13% 1,113 97.0
Arkansas 39% 48% 13% 359 91.0
Missouri 46% 40% 14% 377 106.0
Oklahoma 40% 48% 12% 377 92.0

Buying Conditions

Good Times Mixed –
Good & Bad
Bad Times Responses Index Score
Regional 59% 17% 24% 1,075 135.0
Arkansas 56% 18% 26% 359 131.0
Missouri 60% 15% 25% 364 135.0
Oklahoma 60% 17% 22% 361 138.0

 

Personal Finances
Sub Index
Business Conditions
Sub Index
Buying
Conditions
Sub Index
Current
Conditions
Sub Index
Consumer
Expectations
Sub Index
March 2015 Current Expected 12 Months 5 Years
Regional 103.0 118.0 95.0 97.0 135.0 92.2 77.4
Arkansas 101.0 115.0 83.0 91.0 131.0 89.6 72.4
Missouri 101.0 119.0 101.0 106.0 135.0 91.2 81.3
Oklahoma 109.0 121.0 99.0 92.0 138.0 95.5 77.8

 

Note: Percentages may not equal 100 because of rounding to nearest whole number within the report.