MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Results from the most recent Tennessee Consumer Outlook Survey indicate consumers continue to be optimistic about the overall U.S. economy, a report from the Office of Consumer Research in MTSU Jones College of Business says.
The quarterly Tennessee Consumer Outlook Index remained relatively unchanged and positive, dipping only two points to 167 this month from 169 in March.
The state’s unemployment rate maintained a third straight month of record-low 3.2% in May. Greene County’s was at 3.7%.
Overall, consumers in Middle Tennessee hold the most positive views of the economy, followed by those in East Tennessee and West Tennessee, respectively.
The current online survey of 630 Tennessee consumers was conducted June 3-8 and has a 4 percent margin of error. To see the full report and previous reports, go to mtsu.edu/consumer/tnoutlookreports.php.
“Any concerns consumers might have about possible negative effects of tariffs on the economy do not appear to have a significant impact on how they view the future of the economy,” said Tim Graeff, marketing professor and director of the Office of Consumer Research.
The current results are good news for local businesses and retailers, he said.
“Tennessee consumers are feeling better about the current economy, and this improving outlook might help spark even more spending, which will further stimulate the economy,” he said.
CONSUMERS DISTRUST MEDIA, POLS
Consumers were also asked about their views on the news media and the politicians they cover.
When asked to identify the one politician they most trust, President Donald Trump was by far the most often mentioned politician by Tennesseans. However, an almost equal number said they did not trust any politician.
Consumers also have a general lack of trust when it comes to news media outlets.
Although Fox News was the most often mentioned television news outlet consumers trust, more consumers said they did not trust any television news media outlet.
This general lack of trust is even more evident when it comes to online news sources. Of those who cited a trusted online source, CNN and Fox News were the most often mentioned.