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Alaska consumer confidence falls to a five-year low

Staff writer |
Alaska consumer confidence fell to a five-year low in the first quarter of 2016 as the state continued to grapple with a weak oil sector, budget cuts and doubt about whether lawmakers can avert a fiscal crisis.

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Consumer optimism has fallen every quarter since the second half of 2014, according to a new report by Anchorage consulting firm Northern Economics and Alaska Survey Research, Alaska Dispatch reports.

Oil prices began their precipitous drop in June of that year and have come nowhere close to recovering.

About 56 percent of Alaskans said they think the state economy is getting worse, while 7 percent said it's improving. And 43 percent think their local economy is weakening versus 8 percent who say local economic prospects are good.

Respondents were more upbeat about their own household finances. Fifty-five percent felt secure about their financial situations, while 20 percent did not feel secure. And 21 percent thought their personal finances would improve, while 15 percent thought they were getting worse.

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