Multiple years of uninterrupted job gains and hope that the best is yet to come in 2017 are igniting consumer confidence across the country, and especially in rural and middle America, according to new consumer survey findings from the National Association of Realtors®.
In NAR’s quarterly survey, respondents were asked about their confidence in the U.S. economy and various questions about their housing expectations. In the first three months of 2017, the share of households believing the economy is improving soared to its highest share in the survey’s five-quarter history (62 percent), and is up from 54 percent last quarter and 48 percent in March 2016.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist said, “Confidence levels generally rise after a presidential election as the nation hopes for the best. Even though it is a highly polarized country, consumers for the most part have upbeat feelings about the economy right now,” he said. “Stronger business and consumer morale typically lead to even more hiring and spending, which in turn encourages more households to make big decisions like buying a home.”
Higher confidence in the economy is also translating to better feelings about households’ financial situation. The survey’s monthly Personal Financial Outlook Index showing respondents’ confidence that their financial situation will be better in six months, climbing to 62.6 in March from 59.8 in December 2016.