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Consumer Confidence on the Rise in Washington Region

Survey participants perceive regional economy better than broader national picture.

Greater Washington Board of Trade

Consumer confidence is on the rise, according to results of a new survey by the Greater Washington Board of Trade. The Consumer Outlook Survey was conducted in June by Washington-based Clarus Research Group, which randomly selected 800 adult consumers from the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland.

“We continue to see opportunities for investment with a regional focus on public private partnerships,” said Jim Dinegar, president and CEO of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. “However, there is a lot of money sitting on the sidelines, waiting for a higher degree of certainty to return to the marketplace.”

Since December of last year, the Consumer Outlook Survey has shown a notable uptick from 55 percent to 60 percent. The positive movement continues a trend that started last summer, after a 10-point decline from June 2010 to July 2011. Overall, consumers perceive the regional economy to be faring much better than the broader national picture.

“Consumers are more positive about the current regional economic conditions than any time since the survey has been conducted,” said Jim Dinegar, president and CEO of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. “This coincides with everything we hear about Greater Washington being a great place to work and do business.”

The biggest movement in the survey was a shift in attitudes about employment conditions. Positive views on employment increased 10 points and negative views declined 16 points. Consumers reporting increased salary jumped from 23 to 33 percent while only 4 percent reported a salary decrease.