Make us your home page
Instagram

Florida's unchanged consumer confidence index masks big swings

More than at any time since the Great Recession, Floridians are confident that it's a great time to buy big-ticket items like a car. The only problem: They are feeling too pinched to pay for it.

Florida's consumer confidence level in February was unchanged at a reading of 78 for February, according to the University of Florida's monthly survey released Tuesday. But that was deceptive, as the five components used to calculate the index were all over the map.

The measurement of whether survey takers felt their personal finances are better today than a year ago dropped five points to 61; a measurement of their expectations of whether they'll be better off economically a year from now also sank five points to 75.

Chris McCarty, director of UF's Survey Research Center, said the steep decline was surprising. "It was particularly sharp among seniors, although both young and old respondents were pessimistic about their future finances," he said. "It's not clear where this growing pessimism is coming from, unless consumers are anticipating a rise in the cost of borrowing and lower home values."

That big drop was countered by a huge upswing in the measurement of whether it's a good time to buy big-ticket items. That jumped eight points to 94, the highest level since April 2007, just before the recession began.

The survey also revealed Floridians' confidence in the U.S. economy over the next year rose one point to 77, while their faith about economic conditions five years out remained unchanged at 81. The index is benchmarked to 1966, which means a value of 100 represents the same level of confidence as in that year. The reading has hovered just below 80, a relatively restrained level of consumer enthusiasm, for the past four months.

Florida's unchanged consumer confidence index masks big swings 02/25/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 7:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    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

    Business

    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

    News

    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

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    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]