Make us your home page

Floridians' finances improve in January, but concerns for the economy weigh on sentiment, survey finds

Floridians are feeling better about their finances, but concern is growing about the outlook for the U.S. economy, according to survey results released Friday.

Improving personal finances were weighed down by gloomier feelings about the national picture, and the two trends balanced each other out in the University of Florida's January consumer survey.

The monthly index of Florida consumer sentiment stands at 91.6, virtually unchanged from December but down compared with last year. The survey, conducted from Jan. 1 to 24, measures consumer sentiment on a scale of 2 to 150. The benchmark score is 100.

Signs are pointing up for Florida's economy: Unemployment has improved to 5 percent, on par with the rest of the nation, and job growth is outpacing the rest of the country.

But plummeting oil prices and a slowdown in China have made for a tumultuous month on Wall Street, and newly released figures show that the U.S. economy's growth closed out 2015 at a crawl.

Floridians' sense for how the economy will perform this year has fallen sharply since last January, a trend that cuts across demographics, according to Hector Sandoval, director of UF's Economic Analysis Program. "This unfavorable perspective is shared by all Floridians in general, independent of their gender, age or income level," he said in a statement.

Floridians' finances improve in January, but concerns for the economy weigh on sentiment, survey finds 01/29/16 [Last modified: Friday, January 29, 2016 8:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients


    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel


    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal


    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate


    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]