Economic optimism ticks upward among NH Republicans; Dems remain downbeat

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DURHAM, NH – Optimism about the state and national economies has slightly increased since May among New Hampshire residents. However, these gains have come largely from Republicans, and consumer confidence among Democrats remains at or near all-time lows. Granite Staters are more optimistic about the future business conditions in New Hampshire than in the U.S. as a whole, but more than half of Granite Staters expect it to take more than twelve months for the state economy to recover to pre-COVID-19 levels. 

These findings are based on the latest Business and Industry Association (BIA) Report on Consumer Confidence, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center using the Granite State Panel. Of 2,022 Granite State Panel members who completed the survey online between July 16 and July 28, 2020, clear differences in outlook were drawn along partisan lines.

New Hampshire residents’ assessment of the state economy has improved somewhat after dropping precipitously between February and May. A quarter (25 percent) of Granite Staters think state businesses will enjoy good times financially, 26 percent think they will experience bad times, and 49 percent anticipate mixed conditions.  In May, only 16 percent expected good times while 32 percent thought businesses in the state would experience bad times.

“We’re pleased to see Granite Staters exhibiting more optimism about the state’s economy and future business conditions. We’re dismayed to see these interpretations remain strikingly partisan,” said BIA President Jim Roche.

The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2.2 percent. Data were weighted by respondent sex, age, education, and region of the state to targets from the most recent American Community Survey (ACS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as party registration levels provided by the New Hampshire Secretary of State. All data before May 2020 comes from Granite State Poll telephone surveys.