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SOURCE Roanoke College
SALEM, Va., March 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion Research (IPOR) surveyed 700 Virginians about their financial situation, general business conditions now and in the future, their inclination for purchasing durable goods, and their thoughts on prices in the near-term. Indexes of current conditions (VAICC), consumer expectations (VAICE), consumer sentiment (VAICS), and price expectations were constructed using methods similar to the popular national measures out of the University of Michigan.
Interviewing for the poll was conducted by The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College in Salem, Va. between February 18 and 20, 2013. Nearly 20% of respondents were contacted via cell phone.
Consumer sentiment retreats over concerns of higher prices, lower income
The Virginia Index of Consumer Sentiment is 75, down six points from November (the date of the last survey). The retreat parallels the national number which has fallen considerably since the November election amidst the sequestration and debt debate. Of the 34% of Virginians reporting being worse off financially today compared to a year ago, 47% attribute it to higher prices; 36% blame falling income.
Big gains in Northern Virginia, losses in Shenandoah Valley
Northern Virginia (NOVA) and the Tidewater reported the strongest sentiments of the six regions. The Tidewater is essentially unchanged since November, despite looming cuts to the defense budget which are likely to impact the local economy. NOVA rebounded dramatically since the election; the three indexes returned to last year's values.
The Shenandoah Valley came off their November highs to its lowest values in the past year. The coming months will show if the dramatic reduction in sentiment is due to greater sensitivity to rising gas prices and political debate or merely a statistical anomaly.
Increases in short- and long-term views on prices
Virginians believe prices will grow by 3.5% over the next year, up from 2.2% in November. National price expectations are also on the rise, estimated to be 3.3% over the coming year. The long-term price outlook has also dimmed; Virginians expect inflation of 4.2% in the next 5-10 years, up 0.6 percentage points since November.
For more information, methodology and a copy of the questions and all frequencies, visit: http://bit.ly/VhVNHF.
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