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Florida consumer confidence rebounds slightly

Florida's consumer confidence level this month rebounded slightly from a near-record low in August, a University of Florida survey released Tuesday showed.

The confidence mark in September was 64, up from a revised 61 in August, which was only 2 points higher than the record low of 59 set in June 2008.

Chris McCarty, survey director and head of UF's Bureau of Economic and Business Research, said he wasn't surprised confidence rose as the country moved further past the debt ceiling showdown in Washington. "Confidence actually rose this month among both younger and older respondents," he said, "although it is still at historically low levels."

The monthly telephone survey found consumers were a bit more confident about long-term prospects for the country and personally, but they were increasingly negative about the short term. Out of five components tracked by UF researchers, the only one to fall was the perception that personal finances today are lower than a year ago.

Floridians 60 or older accounted for much of the big drop in August, and they remained a pessimistic bunch with confidence levels at record lows, McCarty said.

Nationally, the Conference Board, a private research group, said its Consumer Confidence Index also edged up in September, though it remains historically low as Americans continue to worry about high unemployment and low wages.

Florida consumer confidence rebounds slightly 09/27/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:49pm]
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