Regions Southwest Virginia

Poll finds Virginians more postive than the overall U.S. population

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A Roanoke College Poll looking at the attitude of Virginia consumers shows they are more positive than Americans overall.

The college’s Virginia Index of Consumer Sentiment was 95.1 in its November survey. That number is 3.5 points higher than a preliminary national sentiment index of 91.6 for the same month.

The Virginia number for November also is nearly 10 points higher than the overall average for the state index, 85.3. Nonetheless, the November figure is three points lower than the index recorded in the last state survey in August.

In looking at current conditions, 36.5 percent of respondents say their personal finances are better today than a year ago. A majority of respondents in that group cited increased incomes rather than falling prices or other causes for their improved finances.

Nearly 20 percent of respondents said their household finances are worse now than a year ago.

In assessing consumer expectations, the poll found that nearly 44 percent said they expect the national economy to prosper during the next five years while 23.2 percent believe it will contract.

Forty-six percent of respondents also expect their household finances to improve in the coming year while 12 percent anticipate a decline in their financial condition.

The survey also found that the optimism of Virginia Republicans and Democrats have dramatically changed since the presidential election.

Republicans were less optimistic than Democrats before the election but their optimism rose 22.4 points after Donald Trump’s victory and the GOP retained control of Congress.

The optimism of Virginia Democrats was 20 point higher than the state’s overall population before the election. That euphoria, however, vanished after the election, with optimism plummeting almost 37 points.

The Roanoke College Poll was conducted by the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at the college. The survey is based on telephone interviews with 606 adult Virginia residents on Nov. 13-20. The poll’s results are subject to a potential sampling error of plus or minus of about 4 points.

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