As Utah consumers continued to digest the political gridlock in Washington that gave us the fiscal cliff drama and a shortfall in our paychecks to begin the new year, they remained skittish about their individual financial situations and their outlook for the economy.
Zions Bank's monthly Consumer Attitude Index rose to 78.8 from 77.3 in December, far short of a reading of 90, which indicates a healthy economy. The rise, like a similarly negligible move last month, was statistically insignificant, suggesting Utahns' confidence in their personal circumstances has plateaued, said Randy Shumway, CEO of The Cicero Group, which surveyed consumers for the bank at the start of January.
"We have hundreds of positive [economic] data points and one very significant anchor to our continued recovery," Shumway said Tuesday. "It's not preventing our recovery, but it is impeding the speed of the recovery. It's the fiscal intransigence of our federal government."