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Anchorage Consumers Remain Optimistic About Local Economy

Consumer optimism declined slightly in the first quarter of this year, but still remains above the 2013 average, according to first-quarter results of the 2014 Anchorage Consumer Optimism Index (ANCi) issued by the Anchorage Economic Development Corp. The more stable six-month moving average of the index was at an all-time high over the life of the index.

Sponsored by KeyBank and produced by Northern Economics, Inc. on behalf of AEDC, the ANCi measures the confidence of consumers using data from a random sample of 350 households in the Municipality of Anchorage. Comprised of three individual components — Local Economy Confidence, Personal Financial Confidence and Expectations for the Future — the overall reading fell slightly from 60.7 in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 60.4 in the first quarter of 2014, remaining close to the all-time high of 61.4 seen in the second quarter of last year.

“The ANCi continues to demonstrate the explicit confidence of Anchorage consumers in the local economy,” said Bill Popp, president and CEO of AEDC. “The three components of the index are all higher than their 2013 averages, indicating a strong start to 2014.”

The Local Economy Confidence component increased by 0.7 points to 63.6, exceeding last year’s average of 62.5. Personal Financial Confidence dropped 0.7 points from the fourth quarter of 2013 to a reading of 66.4, with Anchorage residents remaining positive about their personal financial well-being despite lukewarm employment forecasts for the state and a tepid first quarter in the stock market. The Expectations of the Future component measured at 55.8, down slightly from last year’s fourth-quarter reading, but still exceeding the 2013 average.

"The survey confirms what we're hearing from our consumer and business clients, which is that they remain optimistic about Anchorage's economy,” said Brian Nerland, president of KeyBank's Alaska Market.

The full ANCi report is available at AEDCweb.com.

AEDC is a private, nonprofit membership organization developed in 1987 to encourage growth and to diversify the Anchorage economy. The organization has more than 250 investors, which represent all industries in Anchorage and Alaska. For more information visit www.AEDCweb.com.

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