Arvest Bank Consumer Sentiment Survey


Joplin Regional Business Journal

By JRBJ Staff
Arvest Bank released the findings from their Spring 2016 Consumer Sentiment Survey on June 29. This installment is the final piece of the March survey,that focuses on consumers’ attitudes and behaviors concerning spending, saving and debt. The survey suggests that Missouri consumers plan to make major purchases in the next six months and will seek to expand their credit compared to survey findings last fall, according to a news release by Arvest bank. The survey is conducted twice a year, with the next survey results expected to be released in October.“The most telling component of the savings and spending portion is the surge in percentage of consumers who are planning a major household expenditure in the next six months,” said David Mitchell, director of the Bureau of Economic Research at Missouri State University. “In September 2015, only a quarter of households planned on making a large purchase while 40 percent plan on doing so today. Moreover, 8 percent of households surveyed planned on acquiring a mortgage, 11 percent to acquire a credit card, and 9 percent to get an auto loan. 


In Missouri, 40 percent plan to make a major household purchase in the next six months, up from 27 percent in September. Additionally, 21 percent of those polled said they were waiting to make a purchase, unchanged from September. Major household purchases include items like furniture, televisions and refrigerators.


Missouri respondents planned to acquire credit in the next six months primarily in the mortgage category – up from 1 percent in September to 8 percent in March – and credit card category, up from 2 percent to 11 percent over the same period. Fifty percent reported they had no plans to seek credit, down from the 79 percent reported in September.


“The substantial increase in consumers plans to make large purchases should be a good sign for businesses not only across the state but within out footprint,” Chad Evans, President of Arvest Bank said. “Additionally, the jump in those interested in acquiring credit in the form of a mortgage is a reflection of the activity we are seeing – both in new purchases and refinances.”


Missourians reported a savings rate of 16.0 percent in March, a little below their neighbors in Arkansas at 16.4 percent but higher than in Oklahoma at 15.1 percent. Missouri’s rate was an increase from 13.1 percent reported in September. Arkansas and Oklahoma both reported a savings rate of 13.9 percent in September.


Missourians also reported a rise in the desire to increase their savings rate, from 15 percent in September to 23 percent in the March survey. In Oklahoma, 22 percent plan to increase their savings rate and 21 percent of Arkansans plan to do so.


The Bureau of Economic Research at Missouri State University analyzed the Missouri data, while the data for Oklahoma was evaluated by the Steven C. Agee Economic Research & Policy Institute, Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University.The Arkansas portion of the Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey was conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.