Phoenix Chamber report reveals change in perception related to pandemic

Above: Aerial view of the Phoenix skyline at sunset. Business News | 28 Apr |

The Greater Phoenix Chamber recently released the Q1 Arizona Business Index (ABI), powered by OH Predictive Insights (OHPI).

“We are especially encouraged by the change in perception related to the pandemic,” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber. “Arizona consumers of all ages are showing a willingness to get vaccinated, which will help expedite our economic recovery. In general, we are seeing a sense of optimism that is stronger here in Arizona than the national average.”


READ ALSO:  5 Arizona housing market predictions for 2021


Key highlights from Q1:

COVID-19

• Arizonans became more optimistic about the COVID-19 pandemic, coinciding with the vaccine release.

• For the first time since the ABI™ began collecting data on the subject, more than half (54%) of consumers felt that the COVID-19 situation in Arizona will improve in the next 30 days.

• In March 2021, more than ¾ of Arizonans in the Silent/Boomer generations had already taken the vaccine or were willing to take a vaccine.

• Over the course of the quarter, Millennials and Gen Z became 17 points more likely to take a vaccine or had already received one.

• Gen X remained at roughly the same level throughout Q1, with slightly more than half of this generation indicating they would be willing to be or had already been vaccinated.

 Job Market Confidence

• Job market confidence grew to a 12-month high as both job satisfaction and job security increased. 

Consumer Sentiment

• Arizona current consumer sentiment rebounded stronger than the national confidence.

• The consumer confidence level rose during Q1 – an increase of 2.81 points from Q4 2020 to Q1 2021.

• The ABI-CS™ Current Index rebounded from the Q4 drop and grew 12.9 points from January to March, while the MCSI-Current Index only rose 6.3 points.

• Arizonans’ confidence remained unchanged in their personal finances and timing to purchase major household items. In fact, 47% said personal finances were normal and 40% think it’s a good time to buy a major household item.

Housing

• Arizonans are less positive about the current housing market but remain stable in purchasing plans.

• The Q1 current housing index was 139.5, which is 4.71 points lower than the previous quarter (144.2).

• The higher income group (household income over $100k) is still the most positive demographic group for home purchasing (52%).

• More than half of those who have lived in Arizona less than 5 years believe now is a good time to purchase a home.

• Even though 46% of the Silent/Boomer generations think now is a good time to purchase a home, 80% of them do not plan to buy a house in the next twelve months.

• Millennials/Gen Z (23%) had the strongest purchase intentions compared to other generations.

Automobile Index

• The Automobile Index for Q1 2021 was 133.4, showing a growth of 4.34 points from Q4 2020.

• The monthly growth was not steady. After hitting the Q1 high in February, the Automobile Index declined in March (-12.4 points).

• The increase in plans to buy a vehicle was strong (+3.6%), with 1 in 4 planning to buy a vehicle.

• More than 2 in 5 who have children at home were planning to purchase a vehicle in the next 12 months (New: 21% / Used: 20%).

• Intention to buy a new car was highest among the higher income group (29%), employed (18%), and Millennials (20%). Whereas the unemployed, low-income group, and females prefer used over new.

Economic Optimism

• The Economic Optimism Index dropped 7.28 points from Q4 2020.

• Monthly confidence trended downward since December as it hit a 12-month bottom in February (81.5) then slightly rebounded during March.

• 3 in 4 consumers expected prices to increase and over half expected interest rates to rise.

“As Arizona continues to work hard on vaccine distribution and as businesses and employers strive to adjust their operations to meet the relevant needs of consumers, consumer confidence in Arizona has significantly risen in response,” says Mike Noble, OH Predictive Insights Chief of Research. “As long as businesses and organizations continue to tune in to the perceptions and opinions of Arizona consumers, the trends in the ABI™ and ABI-CS™ data indicate continued growth for the economic health of our great Grand Canyon State.”

To view the full report, visit www.phoenixchamber.com/abiq1.

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