Economists say Utah consumer confidence improving

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Slow and steady, that’s what economic experts are calling Utahn’s confidence when it comes to spending.

The Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index is out for January and the numbers show more Utahns are spending money on things like gas, homes and consumer goods.

“The way people feel about their current situation is significantly higher today than it was 12 months ago,” says Randy Shumway from the Cicero Group, a market research firm.

Currently the CAI in Utah is 79.8, 18 points higher than national average.

Shumway says that Utah is rebounding back from what he calls “the deepest recession since the great depression.” He says the improvement is slow, but consistent.

The following are some of the indications the state economy is getting better:

State unemployment is down, about  2.5 percent lower than the national rateGas is cheaper here and last month more holiday shoppers spent money locally than ever beforeSome business owners saw an almost 20 percent increase in holiday sales compared to last year

Economic experts say if the “trend” continues, Utah is on track to a speedy economic recovery.

According to Zions Bank, consumer confidence in home buying is up this month. Thirty-one percent of Utahns say they believe the value of their homes will increase over the next 12 months.