Icon (Close Menu)


Survey: Arkansas Consumers Planning Large Purchases

2 min read

Arkansas consumers made large household purchases in the past six months and expect to make more now because they don’t expect problems getting credit in the near future, according to the third installment of the fall 2016 Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey.

This final piece of the survey, conducted in August and released Tuesday, focuses on consumers’ attitudes concerning spending, saving and debt.

Of the 1,200 randomly surveyed, 41 percent had made a major household purchase – such as furniture, televisions and refrigerators – in the past six months, up from 39 percent in March. According to the report, 35 percent of respondents also see the next six months as a time to go ahead with large planned purchases.

More: See the full report here.

Kathy Deck, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and lead economist for the survey, said Arkansans set a new high level of optimism in the August survey.

“This is the highest level of purchase expectations since the Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey began,” Deck said. “Current savings rates were down slightly from the previous period, but in line with what consumers have been reporting over the past few years.”

For Arkansans planning on acquiring debt in the next six months, the largest percentages were those seeking auto loans and credit cards at 6 percent, both down from 7 percent in March.

“We’re seeing a steady spending stream here, as well as healthy plans for future spending,” said Jim Cargill, president and CEO of Arvest Bank in central Arkansas. “The purchase plans for many Arkansans reflect financial confidence, in that they are pursuing consumer, auto and mortgage loans.”

From March to August, Arkansas consumers’ household savings rate decreased from 16.4 percent to 13.4 percent. But the percentage of those planning to increase their savings rate rose from 21 percent to 26 percent.

Forty percent had mortgages in August and 37 percent had auto loans. Those who reported having no outstanding debt were 34 percent — significantly higher than the region as a whole at 28 percent.

Last month, the first part of the results showed that Arkansas’ consumer sentiment index was 86.7, the highest since the survey began in spring 2014. And in the beginning of November, the second part of the survey indicated that 42 percent of Arkansans were expecting their financial situations to improve soon. 

Send this to a friend