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Survey respondents are feeling more positive on the back of more favorable views on current conditions. However, results also point towards a protracted period of pessimism.
“The divergence between current conditions and the economic outlook appears to reflect the strong economic data flow seen in recent weeks but still concerns over COVID despite declining case counts and hospitalization rates. Indeed, when asked about the coronavirus, majority of respondents still report some level of concern. Moreover, the major snowstorm in the south which left many stranded without power or water could be a factor in holding back sentiment,” Song wrote in today’s note.
This week’s report also focused on the housing market with results showing two sides of the medal.
“We see disparities in responses across different geographic densities. Those living in large cities and rural areas have generally less positive views on home activity compared to sentiment seen pre-pandemic. Meanwhile, respondents in the suburbs were more positive on home selling, likely due to the rise in home prices. Lastly, with tax filing season underway, we asked about expectations for tax refunds. Expectations are down across all income groups with respondents expecting lower tax refunds this year compared to last year. However, weaker refunds should be offset by additional income support in the next round of stimulus which should buoy consumer demand in coming months,” Song adds.
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