Make us your home page

Floridians' confidence in their own finances hits record low, UF survey shows

A growing number of Floridians are feeling glum about where their bank accounts are headed.

In fact, expectations about personal finances a year from now sank to a record low in the monthly consumer confidence survey released Tuesday by the University of Florida.

Overall consumer confidence statewide for July continued to retract, falling 2 points to 65, the lowest level in 16 months. But the survey component tracking personal finances stuck out, falling 4 points to 72.

Chris McCarty, director of UF's Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, said personal finance expectations have never been so low since the state began tracking consumer sentiment in February 1985.

McCarty blames the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for dampening spirits when there were signs the economy was improving.

Florida's unemployment rate has fallen three months in a row since hitting a record 12.3 percent. Large corporate layoffs have stopped. Housing prices may decline further, but they've been relatively stable for more than a year.

Uncertainty abounds because of the environmental and economic tragedy in the gulf.

"Floridians do not anticipate a good outcome to the spill's effect on the Florida economy," McCarty said, comparing the spill's potential threat to the financial meltdown in fall 2008 when Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae fell into conservatorship.

"Anecdotal evidence suggests that future reports of taxable sales will show a decline, attributable both to declines in tourism and caution on the part of Florida consumers, who are uncertain about the effect of the spill's aftermath on their future finances," he added.

Separately, the Conference Board reported Tuesday that national consumer confidence also fell in July to its lowest level since February. The index fell to 50.4 compared with an upwardly revised 54.3 in June.

"Consumers continue to grow increasingly more pessimistic about the short-term outlook," said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Concerns about business conditions and the labor market are casting a dark cloud over consumers that is not likely to lift until the job market improves."

Floridians' confidence in their own finances hits record low, UF survey shows 07/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 2:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO


    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Roger Berdusco is stepping down as CEO at Triad Retail Media to pursue other opportunities. [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  3. Two new condo projects for same street in downtown St. Pete

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.

    Bezu, a condo project planned at 100 4th Ave. N in downtown St. Petersburg, will have 24 units including a three-level penthouse with infinity pool.
[Courtesy of Clear ph Design]
  4. AAA expects gas prices in Tampa Bay will continue to fall


    Ticking slowly and steadily, regular gas prices have receded for the last 10 consecutive days. The average unleaded gas price in Florida is $2.67 this morning, a nickel cheaper than a week ago. In Tampa Bay, the current average unleaded gas has dropped 7 cents from a week ago to $2.62. The national average for regular …

    Gas prices for regular gas continue to decline. In Tampa Bay, the current average unleaded gas is down 7 cents from a week ago at $2.62 a gallon. [Times file photo]
  5. Kiran and Pallavi Patel commit $200 million for Clearwater medical school

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Tampa Bay philanthropists Dr. Kiran Patel and his wife, Dr. Pallavi Patel are spending $200 million to create and promote a Tampa Bay regional campus for the private Nova Southeastern University.

    Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel, prolific Tampa Bay philanthropists, are putting up $200 million to create and run a new medical school under Nova Southeastern University. Here is a rendering of the proposed campus [Courtesy of Nova Southestern University}