Arizona Business Index Reveals Continued Concern About Inflation and Pandemic, Economic Optimism Declines

Greater Phoenix Chamber

The Greater Phoenix Chamber recently released the Q4 Arizona Business Index™ (ABI™), powered by OH Predictive Insights (OHPI). The study measures and interprets the health of the Arizona economy from the perspective of the Arizona consumer.

The final quarter of 2021 saw dips in consumer sentiment, economic optimism, and job satisfaction. Consumers also weighed in on their outlook on the pandemic, noting they did not anticipate many changes in the situation over the course of Q4.

Consumer Sentiment

The ABI’s Consumer Sentiment Index decreased by 5.77 points between Q3 and Q4, demonstrating less confidence in the current and future economic climate in Arizona.

“In Q4, consumer sentiment dropped to its lowest point of the year,” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber. “We saw the highest drops in confidence among consumers with higher incomes and education levels.”

Consumers were also less optimistic about the business environment in both the short term and long term, dropping 7.6% and 3.1%, respectively.

“Consumer sentiment in the ABI reflects what we are hearing from our members,” Sanders said. “Concerns about inflation and supply chain shortages are front and center in the minds of business leaders and consumers. When we compare Q4 of 2021 to Q4 of 2020, we are seeing more people who believe it is a bad time to purchase a major household item, a car, or a home.”

Economic Optimism and Job Satisfaction

The Economic Optimism Index fell by 4.81 points in Q4 and recorded a new 12-month low in October at 74.5 points. Additionally, expectations of rising prices and interest rates continued to grow in Q4.

  • 85% of consumers think prices will go up (+2.6% from Q3)
  • 73% think interest rates will increase (+5.9% from Q3)

Job satisfaction also decreased between Q3 and Q4 of 2021.

  • This index reached a six-month low in November (109.0 points) but rebounded to 111.9 points in December.
  • Job satisfaction rate in Q4 decreased to 76%. The six-month low (73%) appeared in November but began to bounce back in December (76%).

“Our members, like businesses across the country, are being hit hard by workforce shortages. With workforce shortages comes additional workload for current employees, which can lead to frustration and burnout. While it is never encouraging to hear that job satisfaction is declining, it is not surprising,” Sanders continued. “However, when we look at job satisfaction rates in Q4 of 2020, the numbers have increased quite a bit. This time last year, the job satisfaction rate was at 67% and the job satisfaction index was only at 97.5. In the midst of ebbs and flows in 2021 data, it is encouraging to see improvement over the course of the year. This is why the Chamber remains steadfast in its mission to develop workforce solutions that will reduce talent shortages.”

Additional Q4 data highlights consumer opinions on the pandemic and travel/activity plans.


  • Most consumers think the COVID-19 situation will be the same in Q4 (36%), which was 28% in Q3. Pessimism in Q4 (29%) was lower than that in Q3 (41%).
  • As concern over COVID begins to lessen, consumers are less likely to avoid public gatherings (63%) and restaurants (42%) compared to Q3 (68% and 46%, respectively).
  • Nearly one in five consumers said they are not going to take the COVID-19 vaccine in both Q4 (22%) and Q3 (19%).


  • In Q4, 4% more consumers do not plan on taking a vacation in the next 12 months (31%), and 7% less are scheduling a vacation within the next three months (22%) than in Q3.
  • In Q4, the top 3 activities consumers are comfortable participating in “today” are: Going to a restaurant (53%), going on a road trip in your personal vehicle (49%), and staying at least one night in a hotel (44%).

“Even though new variants and new cases were on the rise during Q4, Arizona consumers’ ‘pandemic panic’ began to subside,” said Mike Noble, OH Predictive Insights chief of research. “COVID concern and pessimism for the near future is dropping and, according to the ABI, Arizonans are beginning to integrate pre-pandemic norms back into their lives. Public gatherings and short-term travel plans are among the first activities that consumers are regaining confidence participating in during Q4.”

Obtain access to the Arizona Business Index here.


The survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights from October-December 2021, from an Arizona general population. The data applied post-stratification on age, gender, region, ethnicity and education level that reflects latest Census data. The sample size was 1,800 completed surveys, with a MOE of ± 2.31%.

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