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Virginians Feeling Good about Financial Situations; Strong Holiday Season Forecasted


It looks like a strong Holiday buying season is in the forecast for Virginia. That’s according to the latest Virginia Consumer Sentiment report from the Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion Research.

Virginians are generally feeling better about their financial situations. Alice Kassens is a Senior Analyst with the institute and professor of economics at Roanoke College; she says the report found that this consumer sentiment is at its strongest level since the recession.

“So what that says to me is, people feel the brunt of the recession is over, even though all of the economic data suggests that we never had a full recovery, say, in the labor markets. But people are feeling better.”

Sentiment is strongest in Northern Virginia, where Kassens says areas hit heavily by sequestration have found another way to do business:

“Businesses have found a way – the ones that used to rely on federal dollars – these businesses have found a way to do business with private entities instead.”

Kassens also says 80-90% of Virginians reported they plan to spend as much as last year - or more - this Holiday season.

“That coupled with people reporting higher incomes and lower prices – if I were a retailer, or someone in the restaurant business, I would be looking forward to this season.”

The report finds that the number of Virginians who are optimistic about the economy is outpacing the growth of those who are pessimistic. 

Kelsea Pieters has worked as a reporter and producer for WVTF since March 2014. She regularly contributes feature and news stories and produces Back to the Blue Ridge with Kinney Rorrer. Kelsea graduated from Roanoke College in 2013 with a BA in Communication.
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