ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Following two straight years of decline, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) improves for the third consecutive quarter. The rebound this quarter is significant. Aggregate customer satisfaction with the goods and services purchased and consumed in the United States jumps 1.5 percent to reach 75.4 on a 100-point scale. Customer satisfaction now sits at its highest level in two years, although the recent gains account for barely half of the prolonged slide that began in the first quarter of 2014.
While gross domestic product growth slowed during the first two quarters of the year, the third quarter saw the year's biggest uptick, with growth reaching 2.9 percent. Consumer spending growth has likewise been choppy, hitting 4.3 percent in the second quarter, but slipping to just 2.1 percent in the third quarter. The upward trend in satisfaction, should it persist, may help sustain stronger and more consistent growth. "Whether rebounding customer satisfaction - combined with an improved job market and rising wages - is enough to offset weaknesses in other sectors remains to be seen, but there is reason to be optimistic," says Claes Fornell, ACSI founder and Chairman. Follow the ACSI on Twitter at @theACSI and Like us on Facebook. No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the data and information in this release without the express prior written consent of ACSI LLC.About ACSI The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States. The ACSI uses data from interviews with roughly 70,000 customers annually as inputs to an econometric model for analyzing customer satisfaction with more than 300 companies in 43 industries and 10 economic sectors, including various services of federal and local government agencies. ACSI results are released throughout the year, with all measures reported on a scale of 0 to 100. ACSI data have proven to be strongly related to a number of essential indicators of micro and macroeconomic performance. For example, firms with higher levels of customer satisfaction tend to have higher earnings and stock returns relative to competitors. Stock portfolios based on companies that show strong performance in ACSI deliver excess returns in up markets as well as down markets. At the macro level, customer satisfaction has been shown to be predictive of both consumer spending and GDP growth.