Make us your home page
Instagram

Florida consumer confidence makes an unexpected jump

Researchers at the University of Florida acknowledge that they're baffled this time.

Florida's consumer confidence in April shot up six points to a level last seen 21/2 years ago even though the state is mired in record unemployment.

"Florida's consumers have been full of surprises the past several months," said Chris McCarty, survey director of UF's Bureau of Economic and Business Research, which released its latest monthly report Tuesday morning.

"Much like the reading for January, this rise in confidence was completely unexpected," McCarty said. "Last month Florida broke its all-time record for unemployment at 12.3 percent. Yet Floridians are far more optimistic this month than last."

The consumer confidence level for Florida rose to 77. The last time the state was at or near that level was when confidence stood at 79 in October of 2007, the same month the Dow Jones industrial average peaked at 14,168.

McCarty surmised that the spike may be connected to enthusiasm over appliance tax rebates and the tax credit for first-time home buyers. "The big question is what happens when the rebates run out in May and the stimulus dollars are spent," he said.

The monthly telephone survey is benchmarked to 1966, meaning a reading of 100 would reflect the same level of consumer confidence as that year.

The UF survey mirrors a confidence surge on the national level.

In a separate report Tuesday, the Conference Board said American confidence in the economy rose in April to the highest level since September 2008, just as the financial crisis was escalating.

The national index of 57.9 was up from a revised 52.3 in March.

Economists watch the number closely because consumer spending, including health care and other major items, accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

National index up

The national confidence index of 57.9 was up from a revised 52.3 in March. The index had been recovering in fits and starts since hitting an all-time low of 25.3 in February 2009.

Florida consumer confidence makes an unexpected jump 04/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 10:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Despite soaring home prices, Tampa Bay still an affordable market

    Real Estate

    Times Staff Writer

    Finally, some good news for Tampa Bay home buyers. Despite rising prices, the bay area remains relatively affordable compared to many other parts of the country.

    Despite rising prices, the bay area remains relatively affordable compared to many other parts of the country. [Associated Press file photo]
  2. National economy off to a luckluster start this year

    Business

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy got off to a lackluster start during the first three months of 2017, though it enjoyed more momentum than earlier estimates indicated.

    he U.S. economy got off to a lackluster start during the first three months of 2017, though it enjoyed more momentum than earlier estimates indicated.
[Associated Press file photo]
  3. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  4. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks

    Business

    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  5. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times