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February 3, 2012 | last updated February 6, 2012 10:34 am

Survey: Consumer sentiment improving

Mainers are feeling more optimistic about the economy than they did last fall, according to a new survey from Portland-based Market Decisions. Consumer sentiment rose 12% from October 2011 to 64.1.

Curtis Mildner, president of Market Decisions, said the rise is not enough to signify a trend, but called it good news nonetheless, according to a press release. Consumer sentiment was 57.4 in October. This January's consumer sentiment index, however, is less than January 2011's 66.5. Forty-percent of Maine residents surveyed said now is a good time to make a major purchase, up from 30% in October and about on par with 41% in January 2011. However, 40% of people said they are worse off financially than they were one year ago, with only one-in-four Mainers expecting to be better off one year from now.

Market Decisions surveyed 402 people from Jan. 11 to Jan 19. The survey has an accuracy rate of 4.9%.

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