San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Consumer Confidence Index Up 13.5 Points

Costa Rica’s consumer confidence index went up 13.5 points during the past six months, thanks to favorable economic indicators, according to the results of a study released last week.

The 13th consumer confidence survey, a report prepared every three months by the University of Costa Rica’s Center for Opinion Studies, indicated that in February, the index registered 54 points on a scale of 1 to 100, a jump from the 40.5 points registered in August.

“The survey is telling us that there is no pessimism with respect to the economy, but there also is no optimism.We’re at an intermediate level, but it’s clear that confidence has been on the increase,” explained researcher Johnny Madrigal.

President Oscar Arias said in a statement that the results show the highest consumer confidence since September 2002.

“I am very satisfied with the results of his survey, which show an improvement in the country’s economic conditions. This administration has made great efforts to recuperate the confidence of Costa Ricans and that is attained only by improving people’s quality of life and helping them out of poverty,” Arias said.

The UCR study also found that 41.6% of those interviewed said the Arias administration is doing a good job with economic and social policies, while 28.3% said he is doing “what’s necessary” and 26.2% called his policies “poor.” The rest did not respond.

Additionally, the economic expectations index increased to 57.8 points, up from 49.9 points in November and 42.9 in August, suggesting Costa Ricans are optimistic about the economy this year.

Of those interviewed, 72% said they expect their family’s income to increase in the next 12 months.

According to researchers, positive results on these indexes are a result of the country’s positive economic figures shown at the end of last year, when inflation dipped to 9.43%, interest rates dropped and exports increased.

The study was carried out Feb. 1-9 through phone calls to 721 homes. It claims a 3.7% margin of error.


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