FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – 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.

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Regional Economic Outlook

A majority of respondents indicated that their personal financial situations were the same as a year ago. However, 24 percent of respondents indicate that their financial situation was better, more than the 19 percent who indicated their situation was worse. More optimism was seen where respondents reported their expected financial situation in a year as indicated by an index of 120.0, which is up from 118.0 in March. The survey respondents were less optimistic about the prospects for general business conditions over the next year, but more positive about business conditions in the next five years. The 12-month ahead indicator fell from 95.0 to 92.0, while the 5-year ahead indicator was up from 97.0 to 99.0. Overall, respondents from the region remained far more negative about future economic prospects than they were about the current status of the economy. The current conditions sub-index in September was 90.3, down from 92.2 in March, while the consumer expectations sub-index was 77.5, nearly unchanged from 77.4 in March.

Arkansas

More than half of Arkansas respondents indicated that their personal financial situations were the same as a year ago. Additionally, 20 percent of respondents indicated that their financial situation was better than a year ago, the same as those who said their situation was worse. Declining optimism was seen when respondents reported their expected financial situation in a year as indicated by an index of 111.0, down from 115.0 in March. The survey respondents were more optimistic about the prospects for general business conditions over the next year, but less optimistic about prospects over the next five years than in March. Overall, Arkansas respondents remained far more negative about future economic prospects than about the current state of the economy, although the difference narrowed. The current conditions sub-index in September was 85.5, down from 89.6 in March. The consumer expectations sub-index was 72.8, up slightly from 72.4 in March.

Missouri

A majority of Missouri respondents indicated that their personal financial situations were the same as a year ago. However, 26 percent of respondents indicated that their financial situation was better than indicated, more than the 16 percent who indicated their situation was worse. More optimism was seen when respondents reported their expected financial situation in a year as indicated by an index of 121.0, up from the March index of 119.0. The survey respondents were less positive about the prospects for general business conditions over the next year and next five years, as the indexes for both of these time periods fell from March to September. Overall, Missouri respondents were more negative about future economic prospects than about the current state of the economy, and the gap widened. The current conditions sub-index in September was 96.1, up from the 91.2 in March, and the consumer expectations sub-index was 79.2, down from 81.3 in March.

Oklahoma

A majority of Oklahoma respondents indicated that their personal financial situations were the same as a year ago. About 26 percent of respondents indicated that their financial situation was better, more than the 20 percent who indicated that their situation was worse. More optimism was seen when respondents reported their expected financial situation in a year as indicated by an index of 131.0, up from 121.0 in March. The survey respondents were less optimistic about the prospects for general business conditions over the next year, but more positive about the outlook during the next five years than in March. Overall, respondents from Oklahoma were more negative about future economic prospects than about the current state of the economy, although the difference fell during the period. The current conditions sub-index in September was 91.1, down from 95.5 in March. The consumer expectations index was 81.1, up from 77.8 in March.

Current Financial Situation Compared with a Year Ago

Better Off Same Worse Off Responses Sub Index Score
Regional 24% 57% 19% 1,198 106.0
Arkansas 20% 60% 20% 388 100.0
Missouri 26% 58% 16% 409 109.0
Oklahoma 26% 54% 20% 390 107.0

Expected Change in Financial Situation Compared in a Year

Better Off Same Worse Off Responses Sub Index Score
Regional 33% 54% 13% 1,149 120.0
Arkansas 28% 56% 16% 376 115.0
Missouri 32% 57% 11% 384 121.0
Oklahoma 42% 47% 11% 379 131.0

Expected Change in Business Conditions in a Year

Good Times Uncertain Bad Times Responses Sub Index Score
Regional 32% 27% 41% 1,084 92.0
Arkansas 33% 25% 42% 352 90.0
Missouri 30% 32% 38% 381 92.0
Oklahoma 33% 27% 40% 342 93.0

Expected Change in Business Conditions in 5 Years

Continuous
Good Times
Widespread
Unemployment
Other Responses Sub Index Score
Regional 43% 45% 12% 1,132 99.0
Arkansas 39% 50% 11% 362 89.0
Missouri 46% 41% 13% 392 104.0
Oklahoma 44% 43% 13% 367 102.0

Buying Conditions

Good Times Mixed –
Good & Bad
Bad Times Responses Sub Index Score
Regional 55% 19% 27% 1,101 128.0
Arkansas 51% 19% 30% 357 120.0
Missouri 59% 20% 20% 374 135.0
Oklahoma 55% 18% 27% 360 129.0

 

Personal Finances
Sub Index
Business Conditions
Sub Index
Buying
Conditions
Sub Index
Current
Conditions
Sub Index
Consumer
Expectations
Sub Index
September 2015 Current Expected 12 Months 5 Years
Regional 106.0 120.0 92.0 99.0 128.0 90.3 77.5
Arkansas 100.0 111.0 90.0 89.0 120.0 85.5 72.8
Missouri 109.0 121.0 92.0 104.0 139.0 96.1 79.2
Oklahoma 107.0 131.0 93.0 102.0 129.0 91.1 81.1

 

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