Lowman S. Henry
Robert W. Keibler
Jane R. Gordon
LeGree S. Daniels
Charles L. Huston, III
Focus Group Moderator
January 14, 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information please contact:
CONFIDENCE IN PA ECONOMY SOARS AS
Household Money Supply Index Hits 70% for the First Time Ever
Harrisburg (PA) – The Pennsylvania Household Money Supply (HMS) Index
capped a year-long rally at the end of December by hitting the 70% mark
for the first time in the index’s history.
The HMS Index is a barometer of consumer confidence in the
state’s economy. Wallingford,
PA-based Sindlinger & Company has produced the index since 1948.
Pollster/economist Al Sindlinger, who now conducts the PA HMS Index
for the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, Inc., said the
economy has not only reached new heights, “but still has considerable
upward momentum as we begin the new millennium.”
The Pennsylvania Household Money Supply Index has risen steadily
for the past two and a half years, but the rise in consumer confidence
quickened significantly during 1999.
The PA HMS Index stood at 45.4% in January of 1999, passed 60% in
May, and ended December at 70.0%.
Consumer confidence in Pennsylvania’s economy outpaced that of
consumer confidence nationwide. The
national HMS Index, which began 1999 higher than the PA HMS Index at 46.9%
ended the year at 67.0%
Statewide polling conducted by Sindlinger for the Lincoln Institute also found President Bill Clinton ending 1999 with a statewide job approval rating 4.8% lower than at the beginning
the year. The President had a 62.0%
positive job approval rating in January of 1999, and a 57.2% rating the end of
December. His popularity in 1999
bottomed out at 52.0% in September after reaching a high of 63.3% in March.
Despite being given credit for the strong U.S. economy, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan saw his job approval rating erode by 9.5% during 1999. His positive rating stood at 61.7% in January, peaked at 63.2% in February, then declined to 52.2% at the end of December.
To determine the Pennsylvania Household Money Supply Index, Sindlinger
& Company asks four questions relative to the respondent’s current and
anticipated personal financial situation. For
a respondent household head to have positive Household Money Supply, he or she
must report that: (1) Total
combined annual household income is now UP or the SAME as it was six months
prior; and (2) Total combined annual household income in the next six months
will remain the SAME or be UP from now; and (3) In the next six months will
there be MORE or the SAME number of jobs where the respondent works; and (4)
Business conditions in the next six months will be the SAME or BETTER where the
respondent lives. A negative response to one or more of the four key questions
indicates that the respondent has negative HMS.
The Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, Inc., is a Harrisburg-based non-profit educational foundation that conducts public opinion research on key statewide and regional economic issues. Results of Sindlinger’s polling and all Lincoln Institute polling and focus group projects can be found on-line at www.lincolninstitute.org.