Consumer optimism about the country’s economic outlook improved slightly in the past three months, according to results of the Consumer Confidence Index released Wednesday by the University of Costa Rica’s (UCR) School of Statistics.
The report states that confidence, at 36.5 percent, is still low, but grew from the 31 percent recorded in August. Still, the figure is 12 percent lower than that recorded in the same period last year.
UCR researcher Johnny Madrigal said distrust has been the prevailing attitude throughout the year, but the latest consumer confidence results can be considered positive as they buck the downward trend recorded throughout 2015. Madrigal said the slight increase in confidence can be attributed to an improvement in expectations towards the country’s economic future.
Citizens’ personal expectations are positive mainly because they hope for a decrease in interest rates for the upcoming year, Madrigal said.
According to the survey results, the current optimism has little to do with the work of President Luis Guillermo Solís, as 68.7 percent of respondents said they considered the government’s economic policy poor, while only 5.6 percent said it is good.
UCR researchers believe the positive results reflect this time of year, as people are preparing to receive Christmas bonuses, or aguinaldos, and also are getting ready for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
The survey was conducted via telephone among 702 households in all provinces between Oct. 28 and Nov. 13 and has a confidence level of 95 percent.