Make us your home page

Florida's consumer confidence level remains unchanged in December

Florida's consumer confidence level was unchanged in December, but researchers noted a clear shift in some of the five components used to measure confidence.

The upshot: We feel worse about where we are, but better about where we'll be.

According to the University of Florida monthly survey released Tuesday:

• Perceptions of our current personal financial situation, compared to a year ago, fell 5 points to 51.

• Perceptions of where our personal finances will be a year from now rose 2 points to 80.

More Floridians surveyed also thought the U.S. economy will struggle over the next year, but confidence is up slightly for the long-term outlook.

Overall, the state's consumer confidence mark stayed at a relatively low 71. The telephone survey is benchmarked to 1966, meaning a reading of 100 would reflect the same level of consumer confidence as that year.

"Historically, numbers this low would be consistent with recessionary levels. The recession of 2008-2009 changed that," survey director Chris McCarty said. "Unlike past recessions where consumers led the recovery, this recovery is leaving a substantial proportion of the population behind."

Stubbornly high unemployment — with Florida's jobless rate at a near-record 12 percent last month — remains the state's biggest obstacle to recovery, he said.

Separately, the Conference Board reported Tuesday that U.S. consumer confidence took an unexpected drop last month amid renewed concerns about the sluggish job market.

Amid signs of a recovering economy this fall, U.S. consumer confidence had been building, hitting a five-month high in November's report. Economists had widely expected another uptick in confidence. Instead, the index fell to 52.5 from an upwardly revised 54.3 in November.

The index would have to reach 90 to be at a level indicating the economy is stable.

Consumers polled were slightly more pessimistic about current conditions, but researchers downplayed the drop.

"Despite this month's modest decline, consumer confidence is no worse off today than it was a year ago," said Lynn Franco, director of the Consumer Research Center at the Conference Board, in a statement. "All signs continue to suggest that the economic expansion will continue well into 2011, but that the pace of growth will remain moderate."

Florida's consumer confidence level remains unchanged in December 12/28/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 9:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa man pleads guilty to forging check for fake investment

    Personal Finance

    A Tampa resident was convicted Thursday for forging a check for a fake investment. The Florida Office of Financial Regulation said that Eric Franz Peer pleaded guilty. He served 11 months in jail and will have to pay $18,000.

  2. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses


    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]
  3. Terrier Tri brings unique triathlon training to South Tampa


    Over a decade ago, Robert Pennino traded late nights in the music studio for early mornings in the Terrier Tri cycle studio.

    Terrier Tri, a cycling studio in South Tampa celebrates a grand opening on June 27. Photo courtesy of Tess Hipp.
  4. New bistro hopes to serve as 'adult Chuck E. Cheese'


    YBOR CITY — Inside Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy, a new restaurant opening in Ybor City, customers will find a mix of family recipes, games and secrecy.

    Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy readies to open in Ybor City. Photo courtesy of Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy.
  5. Ramadan having an economic impact on local charities, businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Dodging the rain, a few families and customers gathered inside Petra Restaurant on Busch Boulevard. Around 8:30 p.m., the adham (or call to prayer) music begins, signaling Iftar, the end of the daily fast. Customers grabbed a plate to dig into the feast.

    Baha Abdullah, 35, the owner of the Sultan Market makes kataif, a common dessert that is eaten during the month long celebration of Ramadan in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]