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National Restaurant Association - Economist's Notebook: Consumers remain unimpressed by economy

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Economist's Notebook: Consumers remain unimpressed by economy

In his latest commentary, the National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy presents new consumer research. Despite slow and steady improvements in recent months, consumers’ assessment of the economy remains sour.

The national economy continued to register slow and steady improvements in recent months.  During the first eight months of 2013, the private sector added a net 1.5 million jobs and the jobless rate fell by a half-percentage-point. 

However, in the eyes of many consumers, the light at the end of the economic tunnel remains dim.  In fact, consumers’ economic needle has barely moved at all in the last three years. 

According to a survey of 1,000 adults conducted September 12-15 for the NRA by ORC International, only about one out of 10 adults gave the national economy a rating of “excellent” (1 percent) or “good” (11 percent).  Thirty-four percent of adults describe the economy as “fair,” while more than half (53 percent) gave it a “poor” rating. 

Even more troubling, this measure of economic sentiment hasn’t really budged in the last three years.  When the NRA fielded the same question in December 2010, December 2011, October 2012 and April 2013, the results were almost identical: Only one out of 10 adults gave ratings of “excellent” or “good,” while a majority described the economy as “poor.” 

Read more from the Economist’s Notebook and get additional analysis of restaurant industry trends on Restaurant TrendMapper  (subscription required).

Consumers’ Economic Sentiment Remains Sour
Consumers’ Assessment of the National Economy

Source: National Restaurant Association, based on five surveys of 1,000 adults conducted by ORC International

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