In Louisiana we generally have a sunny disposition about life in general. Our food, music, good times, and general joie de vivre keep most of us smiling most of the time. However, for the first time recent years we've seen a bit of dark cloud creep into our sunny outlook.

A recent survey released by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab shows that our state is now lagging behind the rest of the nation when it comes to consumer confidence. The survey showed that compared to the rest of the nation we were about ten points less confident as consumers than citizens of the rest of the country.

Michael Henderson is director of research for the Public Policy Research Lab and explained to the Louisiana Radio Network what he believed the results of this survey are showing.

These numbers basically mean that people in Louisiana are tightening their wallets a little bit more than they were six months earlier.

There is no doubt concern over oil prices and the energy industry have crept more and more into our spending habits. Let's face it, oil is the life blood of Louisiana and when companies start restructuring and employees are being laid off we tend to circle the wagons.

We saw unemployment increase in the state at the time, even as it dropped in the nation at the time, so we are seeing sort of a similar pattern here.

Residents in Northwest and Southwest Louisiana and the New Orleans area were described by the survey as the least confident on consumer issues in the state. Those areas have a natural tie with the energy industry so that isn't too much of a surprise.You can see the results of the survey here.

Henderson is speculating that as the oil industry comes back it would likely tend to stabilize consumer confidence and this downward turn could very well be reversed. He even suggested that in the time after the survey was completed and results were being compiled that conditions in the state may have started to change.

It will be interesting to see if the state is bouncing back, especially if this was driven by energy prices.