by Aila Boyd email@example.com
Consumer sentiment in Virginia is up for the third quarter, according to an Aug. 23 report from The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College.
The rebound comes after heavy losses over the first half of 2022.
“Consumer sentiment turned a corner in the third quarter of 2022, moving up more than in the last four years,” Alice Louise Kassens, a senior analyst at the college, said in the report.
Inflation, the report noted, had been the primary drag on sentiment. When gas prices started to fall in July, the relief translated to increased optimism.
The price of a gallon of regular gas at the Salem Mini Mart at the intersection of Texas Hollow Road in Salem was $3.35 Saturday.
Analysis provided in the report indicated that supply chain issues are sorting themselves out. If the issues continue to be resolved, prices should continue to decline.
In addition to simply alleviating the pain at the pump, the report said lower gas prices should translate to lower food prices because of decreased shipping costs.
“Hopefully, this will continue, and we will trend upwards. Strong consumer confidence highlights how consumers feel about the economy and can also impact the future,” Kassens said. “If people are worried about the economy’s future, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we can push ourselves into a recession.”
She also noted that the labor market remains strong, which has been aided by the pullback in quarantine recommendations for school-age children. Parents have had more freedom to pursue job openings.