Make us your home page

Florida consumer confidence flat but still low in August

Florida's unemployment rate isn't the only economic indicator stuck in neutral this summer. The state's consumer confidence level was unchanged this month, according to a University of Florida survey released Tuesday.

Three of the five measures used to gauge confidence fell in August. That was offset, however, by a 6-point jump in consumers' expectations that their personal finances would be in better shape a year from now.

In July, confidence had fallen sharply after five months of rising or flat optimism.

Survey director Chris McCarty said a concern over current personal finances and buying conditions is fueling a persistent pessimism.

"While the big drop in confidence for July was mainly from low-income and younger Floridians, a group that remains more pessimistic, there was slightly growing pessimism among older and higher-income Floridians as well in August," he said.

With rising interest rates and another likely congressional debate over raising the debt ceiling, McCarty predicted pessimism will increase into the fall. The state's unemployment rate has remained at 7.1 percent for three straight months.

Florida's August confidence reading of 77 reflects a level only modestly improved from the depths of the recession. UF's index is benchmarked to 1966, which means a value of 100 equals the level of confidence from that year.

Separately, the Conference Board reported Tuesday that its national Consumer Confidence Index increased slightly in August, rebounding from a July slump.

Lynn Franco, an economist with the organization, attributed the rise to improving short-term expectations.

"Consumers were moderately more upbeat about business, job and earning prospects," she said. "In fact, income expectations, which had declined sharply earlier this year with the payroll tax hike, have rebounded to their highest level in 2 1/2 years."

Florida consumer confidence flat but still low in August 08/27/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 10:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. FBI warns of spreading W-2 email theft scheme

    Personal Finance

    The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms — scams that can put staffers' Social Security numbers and other critical information in the hands of thieves.

    The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms.
[McClatchy DC/TNS file photo]
  2. Walmart expands grocery delivery service to Tampa


    TAMPA — Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service to Tampa, the company announced Monday. Five locations will offer delivery for online grocery orders.

    Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery to Tampa, the company announced Monday. | [Times file photo]
  3. Marina at Hudson Beach poised to become 24-unit condominium-hotel


    HUDSON — One of the mainstay businesses at Hudson Beach is poised for redevelopment into a 24-unit condominium-hotel.

    The owners of Skeleton Key Marina in Hudson have filed preliminary plans with Pasco County to redevelop the site into a 24-unit condominium-hotel.
  4. Have your say Tampa Bay on the region's future transit options

    Mass Transit

    TAMPA — It's time, yet again, for Tampa Bay residents to tell officials what kind of transit options they want for their region.

    The Cross-Bay Ferry docks at the Tampa Convention Center on its maiden voyage on Nov. 1, 2016. A regional premium transit study will determine whether a ferry, or other options such as express buses or light rail, would be a good addition to Tampa Bay. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  5. SOCom seeks civilian drone pilots to develop new technology through ThunderDrone


    TAMPA — For the last three years, Nicole Abbett has been using drones as part of her photography business, with clients like the city of Tampa and construction companies.

    Josh Newby, 31, Palm Harbor, of Tampa Drones fly's a drone in England Brothers park, Pinellas Park, 8/25/16. As drone popularity increases as a hobby and business, local governments are navigating a legal grey area- where, when, and how should drone flights be allowed?