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Virginia consumer confidence is rising

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Several measurements of Virginians’ consumer confidence are rising, according to the Roanoke College Poll.

The Virginia Index of Consumer Sentiment rose to 83 in February, up 6.5 points since November. The increase makes up a majority of a loss the index had experienced from last August.

Poll officials said the index now has resumed an upward trend seen in the middle of last year. The measurement is now 8 points higher than a year ago. Consumer sentiment in Virginia also is higher than the preliminary national index on consumer sentiment for this month.

Another index, measuring confidence in the future economy and household finances, has increased by nearly 8 points since November.

The Virginia Index of Consumer Expectations stands at 82.1 in February, up from 74.3 in November 2013.

The preliminary national measure of economic expectations was 73, indicating that Virginians are more optimistic than the nation as a whole.

The share of respondents who believe that the next five years will be a period of high unemployment and recession is down 6 points since November.

Virginians report being better off financially today than a year ago and say that business conditions have improved. The Virginia Index of Current Conditions has risen by nearly 5 points since November to 84.3.

The nation as a whole, however, is more positive about current conditions. The University of Michigan reported a preliminary value of 94, an increase of almost 7 points since November, but down 2 points from  January.

The Roanoke College Poll compiled the information from interviews with 601 Virginians.

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