MTSU survey: Tennessee consumers more optimistic as spring arrives, vaccinations increase

Mar 29, 2021 at 10:11 am by WGNS

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Outlook among Tennessee consumers has improved noticeably heading into the spring and summer months, according to the latest statewide survey by Middle Tennessee State University.

The Tennessee Overall Outlook Index crept back into positive territory in March to 1, but that’s up considerably from -58 score in December, reports the Office of Consumer Research in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at MTSU.

“Consumers have regained some of their lost optimism with respect to the future of the economy,” said Tim Graeff, marketing professor and director of the Office of Consumer Research. “As the economy continues to emerge from COVID shutdowns and restrictions, consumers are increasingly optimistic. As the number of vaccinations increase, restrictions are lifted, and workers are hired to handle growing consumer demand, continued optimism can set the stage for future spending as consumers become more comfortable opening up their wallets and spending in ways they were not able to do so last year.”

And even as consumers are more comfortable shopping in public, 73% still think “it is very, or extremely important people wear masks when out in public around other people.”

The current online surveys of 609 randomly selected Tennessee adult residents were conducted March 5-23 and has an error margin of 4%.

To see the full report and previous reports, go to

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