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Venture

Robert Trigaux

Tampa Bay, Florida metro areas dominate ranks of overspending consumers

Creditcards Wake up and good morning. Is there anything Forbes magazine doesn't rank these days? Most of the lists Forbes cranks out are easily forgettable or simply entertaining. This one is disturbing, not just for the Tampa Bay area but for all of Florida.

Forbes ranked cities based on overspending by households and  -- behold -- Tampa is second only to Miami among major metro areas nationwide for spending far more than incomes available. In fact, check out the top five most overspent metro areas of the top 50 analyzed. Four of the five are major metro areas in Florida!

Good grief, people. Put the plastic on the table. Step away from the credit cards. Get out of the shopping malls! (Or should I be encouraging people to spend anyway, all in the name of bolstering the weak economy? I don't think so.)

Here's the complete Forbes list and below are the nasty top five overspenders:

1. Miami. Average credit card debt per household: $9,797.38; median household income: $43,333; percent of income owed to credit card companies: 22.61%

2. Tampa Bay. Average credit card debt per household: $7,685.88; median household income: $44,944; percent of income owed to credit card companies: 17.10%.

3. Los Angeles. Average credit card debt per household: $8,815.86; median household income: $52,456; percent of income owed to credit card companies: 16.81%.

4. Jacksonville. Average credit card debt per household: $8,397.03;median household income: $51,269; percent of income owed to credit card companies: 16.38%.

5. Orlando. Average credit card debt per household: $8,233.26; median household income: $50,285; percent of income owed to credit card companies: 16.37%.

There's a pattern here which does not bode well for Florida. Earlier his week, I posted a Venture item about another Forbes analysis: The nation's most overpriced cities. And yes, Tampa Bay ranked high on that list, too. Which is another way of looking at the same here: overspending because stuff costs too much and wages are simply too low to sustain a desired lifestyle. None of these trends suggests we are going to emerge from a troubled state economy any time soon. And Florida's higher-than-average unemployment rate will only slow any recovery.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 12:25pm]

    

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