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Consumer confidence varies from state to state

Shopping bags hang inside a bookstore in Washington, D.C.

Jeff Horwich: Our latest reporting on U.S. consumer confidence says it jumped up last month. But what does that mean where you live? Time for a little Attitude Check. It's our weekly partnership with Gallup, and editor-in-chief Frank Newport is here. Hey Frank.

Frank Newport: Good morning.

Horwich: We update people all the time on the state of U.S. consumer confidence but the country is a collection of lots of smaller economies, of course. What do you see when you break it down state by state?

Newport: Yeah it’s really fascinating. We looked at consumer confidence by every state in the union and the District of Columbia for the first six months of 2012 aggregating lots of data. Bottom line is: if you want to go where people are upbeat on a relative basis on the economy go anywhere near the nation’s capital -- that would be D.C. -- people who live in the district say: “Hey! The economy is going very well.”

Plus, a bunch of states like Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Iowa, those states also have very positive people. Then Maryland and Virginia of course, continuous to the District of Columbia, they too are positive because I guess, there’s lots of activity in the District of Columbia.

Horwich: And where are the bummed out people?

Newport: Well, it’s an interesting conglomeration of states but the worst is West Virginia. It’s kind of really worse, people who live in West Virginia are really depressed when we call them and ask them how’s the U.S. economy is doing. They’re significantly below a couple of other southern states which are two and three, Arkansas and Mississippi. But then there some states like Wyoming and Montana, and Nevada which are far away from the South that also have pretty negative people when we ask them about the economy. There some other southern states where people look pretty dour about the economy as well.

Horwich: Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup. Thanks a lot.

Newport: My pleasure.

About the author

Frank Newport, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief at Gallup and appears regularly on Marketplace.

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