Regional Consumers Planning Major Purchases, Increase Savings

Thursday, June 30 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey measures respondents' spending and savings.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Consumers in the Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma region said they have plans to both make major household purchases in the next six months and to increase their household savings rate, according to final information released today from the Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey. 

Those are among the more noticeable findings from the third installment of the Spring 2016 Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey released today. This installment is the final piece of the survey, conducted in March and including Greater Kansas City, and focuses on consumers’ attitudes and behaviors concerning spending, saving and debt.

“It appears consumers are continuing a trend that started last year, that of small increases in making major purchases and taking on slightly more consumer debt,” Arvest Marketing Director Jason Kincy said. “But an increasing percentage of consumers have expressed a desire to increase their savings rate even after we have seen savings rates steadily going up over the past two years. So although consumers are feeling confident enough to start spending and accumulate more consumer debt, they are keeping an eye on the future by building a savings cushion between themselves and changes in the economy.”

Most notably, 34 percent of regional respondents indicate they plan to make major purchases in the next six months, compared with 28 percent in September. The percentage of respondents who report they made a major household purchase in the past six months rose from 38 to 39 percent. Among the remaining 66 percent who do not plan such major purchases in the next six months, 19 percent of those reported they were waiting for the right time to buy while 81 percent said they had no plans to buy at all. Major household purchases were defined as furniture, a television, refrigerator or other large items.

In Arkansas, Kathy Deck, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and lead economist for the survey, said, “With gas prices and interest rates remaining low and incomes rising, Arkansans were most positive about the idea that buying conditions are at an attractive level right now.”

David Mitchell, director of the Bureau of Economic Research at Missouri State University, said similar things about Missourians.

“Although consumers’ outlook for the economy in the very near term might have appeared somewhat ambiguous,” Mitchell said, “they clearly see a brighter picture in the long term as evidenced by their desire to make purchases and acquire credit.”

Consumer debt within the region was divided among several categories – mortgage, home equity, auto, credit cards and student loans. In the region overall, more consumers reported having consumer debt of some kind, with increases in auto loans (from 32 percent in September to 33 percent in March), credit cards (from 40 percent to 41 percent), and student loans (from 14 percent to 21 percent). The percent of respondents who reported having no current consumer debt dropped from 27 percent to 22 percent. 

When looking at the savings rate, regional consumers reported they are saving 15.8 percent of their earnings, up from 13.6 percent in the previous survey. The overall savings rate for Arkansas is 16.4 percent, while Missouri is at 16.0 percent and Oklahoma 15.1 percent.

The majority of regional respondents, 68 percent, expect to maintain their current savings rate over the next six months and 22 percent expect to increase their savings rate. Only 10 percent expect to decrease their savings rate over the same time period.

In Oklahoma, a state largely dependent on the energy industry, economist Russell Evans said increased savings rates make sense.

“A hesitance to spend and notion to save are consistent with expressed expectations for a challenging present and uncertain future,” said Evans, executive director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research & Policy Institute at Oklahoma City University.

The Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey is conducted by the CBER, which also evaluates the Arkansas data, with the University of Oklahoma’s Public Opinion Learning Laboratory conducting 1,200 random phone and online surveys.

The survey is conducted twice a year, with the next results expected to be released in October. With each study, the Consumer Sentiment Survey Index score will be released first, followed by a second release on consumer outlook, including the Current Conditions Index and the Consumer Expectations Index, which are sub-indexes of the Consumer Sentiment Survey Index.

Arvest Bank’s sponsorship of this survey, which follows the model of the national Survey of Consumers produced by the University of Michigan, is due to its desire to provide beneficial data for its customers and communities. The data provides a reading of how consumers are feeling about the economy in the states where the bank operates. Additionally, with future results, consumers, as well as the business community, will be able to see how sentiment is trending.

The Bureau of Economic Research at Missouri State University provides state analysis of the Missouri data. The Steven C. Agee Economic Research & Policy Institute, Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University, evaluates the data for Oklahoma.

Information about the survey and research partners, copies of this release, summary documents and print-ready logos can be found at

Data released as part of the Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey, summary and news releases is free for broadcast, publication or use in presentations. Please cite “Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey” as the source each time information is referenced.

Tags: Arkansas, Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey, Debt, Missouri, Oklahoma, Press Release, Savings

Investing in Women — Lions, Tigers and Fraud, Oh My

Wednesday, June 29 at 05:40 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Arvest in Southwest Oklahoma will host their next Investing in Women luncheon series at the Great Plains Technology Center (4500 S.W. Lee Blvd., Lawton, Okla.) Thursday, July 14, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Lunch will be served 11:30 a.m. - Noon with a one-hour program to follow. 

Elaine Dodd, who serves as the executive vice president for the fraud division for the Oklahoma Bankers Association will be the guest speaker. Elaine spent 22 years in law enforcement doing investigative work for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. Her tenure there allowed her to investigate white-collar crimes as a diversion investigator. She joined the OBA in 2003, and since then has provided fraud training to thousands of bankers and customers across the state. In 2013, she was awarded the Brad Edwards Consumer Champion Award and was also inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame.
Arvest Bank along with co-sponsors Great Plains Technology Center, Johnson & Johnson Locksmith and Door Company, KSWO and Cosmetic Specialty Labs look forward to hosting the next luncheon. 

The group first launched Investing in Women in 2015 as a way to provide networking opportunities and financial education for women of all ages.  

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming meetings and a half-day women’s wellness expo in October. 

For more information on Investing in Women or to sign up for the next event please contact Angela Spradlin at (580) 250-4540 or
Tags: Community Support, Oklahoma, Southwest Oklahoma

Friday Financial Forum July 1 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Tuesday, June 28 at 04:35 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Join us Friday, July 1 at 10 a.m. for our Friday Financial Forum. We will meet at the Friday Forum Room at Arvest's East Side Branch, located at 4225 S.E. Adams Rd. in Bartlesville, Okla.*

This week the well-known Ad Lib Singers will be bringing their Fourth of July Patriotic Extravaganza in music and song! The Ad Lib Singers, founded in 1994, are a lively group of music lovers who amuse and entertain with show tunes, gospel, patriotic music, and more. They most certainly are aptly named. Should the audience hear a mistake, rest assured they never make a mistake, they simply ad lib! Most recently, the Ad Lib Singers were showcased at this year’s OK Mozart Festival on opening day at Prairie Song Village.  
Wear red, white and blue and make plans to join us this Friday for a grand celebration of America’s Independence Day!
If you have any questions or would like to add someone to the invitation email list, please contact Billie Roane at (918) 337-4358. We look forward to seeing you there!
Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma

Submit Your Photos for Chance to Win $150!

Monday, June 27 at 08:10 PM
Category: Arvest News

Love the outdoors? Love to take pictures? Love to win money? Combine all three interests for a chance to win $150 and have your outdoor photo on an Arvest debit card! 

Take pictures of your outdoor adventures and post them on Instagram July 1-15 using #arvestoutdoors in the caption for your photo to be considered. Remember to make your Instagram profile public, so we can see your photos! You'll need to take the pictures horizontally, so they'll fit on a debit card. If you're selected as a finalist, we'll request the original photo file to make sure it's high enough resolution, and we reserve the right to edit or crop it. 

What do we mean by outdoor adventure? Essentially, it’s having an active experience in nature. Think of all the fun you have biking, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, camping, climbing, repelling, etc. Photos can be of recent or past outdoor adventures. We don’t want people in the pictures to be identifiable so zoom in, zoom out or find an interesting angle (like the back of someone or their silhouette). To view existing Arvest debit card designs, visit  

We’ll post the photo finalists on Arvest Bank’s Instagram account the week of July 25 and give the public the opportunity to vote. Winning photographers will each receive $150, and winning photographs will be used as art on Arvest debit cards available for any checking account customer to order! If the winner is an Arvest checking account customer, then he/she will get a new debit card featuring their design, at no cost.

  • Submitted photos must be the submitter’s original work with no other person being able to claim ownership.
  • Photos need to be family friendly.
  • Photos don’t have to be recent, but they do have to be posted to Instagram July 1-15 with #arvestoutdoors in the caption.
  • Submitters can enter more than one photo. 
  • Winners will need to sign a release form authorizing Arvest to use the photo.
  • Arvest associates and their immediate family are not eligible to win. 
We’re excited to see all the fun you’re having in nature! Start gathering, taking and posting your outdoor adventure pictures!

This contest is not sponsored, administered or associated with Instagram. By entering, entrants confirm they are at least 18 years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use. 

Tags: Debit Cards

Celebrate American Freedoms with Free Patriotic Debit Card

Monday, June 27 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Don’t limit your celebration of American freedoms to just Independence Day! Order a free patriotic or military debit card June 27 – July 2, 2016, so you can show your American pride all year long! 

Existing customers are typically charged a replacement fee of $7.50. Debit cards are always free with any new checking account. During this promotion new and existing customers can order a patriotic or military debit card for free.  

Select from seven debit cards in the patriotic and military debit card series. You can also find more specialty debit card designs at
To order some red, white and blue for your wallet, call customer service at (866) 952-9523 or visit your local branch.
Holiday Hours
Arvest will be closed for Independence Day on Monday, July 4, 2016.   

For your convenience you can bank 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using:
Have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day! 

Available for use with checking accounts only; $50 minimum deposit required to open account.

Tags: Community Support, Debit Cards, Holiday Hours

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