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Poll says Virginians optimistic on economy

Virginians are more optimistic about their local economies than the nation as a whole, according to a new Roanoke College Poll.

In the Central Virginia ranking, which encompasses the Fredericksburg area, respondents had a more positive sentiment about the economy and current conditions for residents than the previous month. However, expectations for the future of the region decreased between June and July.

The report said these rating could be affected by international unrest, stagnant real wages and volatile stock markets.

The most recent poll, conducted in early August, interviewed 603 Virginians about their financial situation, general business conditions now and in the future, their inclination for purchasing durable goods and their thoughts on prices. The results are quantified in three categories: sentiment, current conditions and expectations.

Overall, Virginians report being better off financially today than a year ago and that business conditions have strengthened.

Sentiment was at an all-time high since the poll began three years ago.

Sentiment in Southside increased the most, by 13 points. The report stated that the spike could be explained by investment in jobs by companies there and a visit by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the region during which he discussed workforce development options for residents.

Southwest Virginia scored a 10-point increase in current conditions, and the Shenandoah Valley also continued an upward trend in sentiment that started in November 2013.

The Tidewater was the only region showing declining sentiment since May.

Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976