Survey: CT residents wary economy will improve

January 21, 2019

HARTFORD — The latest consumer confidence survey by InformCT found that 80 percent of state residents believe that overall business conditions in Connecticut will get better or stay the same over the next six months.

Last year at this time 72 percent of residents felt the same way.

The online survey of 505 Connecticut residents was conducted at the end of November after the election and released last week.

The survey also found that Connecticut residents are anticipating that their personal financial circumstances will improve over the next six months, which is the highest its been over the past four years the survey was conducted.

The percentage of state residents who feel the Connecticut economy is improving has increased from 20 percent to 28 percent during the past year. However, 41 percent of respondents still disagreed with the statement that Connecticut’s economy is improving.

The survey found that even as optimism about the state’s economy, business conditions and personal finances improved somewhat, concerns about jobs, health insurance and long-term financial security remain.

The percentage of residents who believe jobs are either very hard to get or that there are some jobs but not enough now stands at 80 percent. One-quarter of those surveyed say jobs are very hard to get in Connecticut.

Recent information from the Connecticut Labor Department shows that unemployment is at 4 percent and that Connecticut is about 7,800 jobs away from recovering all the jobs lost during the Great Recession of 2008.

Still the InformCT survey found 77 percent continue to expect the employment situation will stay the same or get worse. In addition, 35 percent expressed concern that “my job or that of my spouse/partner is in jeopardy” — the highest percentage in more than a year.

Those with higher levels of education were more optimistic about the availability of jobs than those with less than a high school education. Thirty-eight percent of those with less than a high school diploma said jobs are very hard to get verses the 26 percent of those with a college degree and 17 percent with a post-graduate education.

But jobs aren’t the only concern. Fifty-nine percent of residents are “concerned about being able to afford health insurance, while only 18 percent are not. The percentage of residents who are not concerned is the smallest in more than two years.

More than half of Connecticut residents or 52 percent don’t believe they “will have enough money to retire comfortably,” compared with less than one-quarter or 21 percent who do.

And attitudes about living in Connecticut have reached their lowest level in four years with only 13 percent agreeing that “Connecticut is a good place to live and raise a family.” Only 29 percent of survey respondents agreed with the statement.

As far as planned spending over the next six months, 35 percent say they will make a major consumer expenditure, and 58 percent say that it’s unlikely.

Only 24 percent indicated they are likely to purchase a car and only 16 percent say they will refinance their home or purchase a new one.

The survey has a 4 percent margin or error and was conducted by researchers from the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc.

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