Make us your home page
Instagram

Floridians' consumer confidence edges up, but concerns about U.S. economy remains

When it comes to regaining confidence in the economy, Floridians appear to be of two minds.

They're feeling better about their own finances but are still gloomy about where the national economy is headed in the next few years, according to a monthly survey released Tuesday by the University of Florida.

Overall, consumer confidence among Floridians rose three points in July to 76, which is nine points higher than confidence levels a year ago, the UF survey found. Chris McCarty, survey director within the university's Bureau of Economic and Business Research, said Floridians across all age groups were moderately upbeat.

The uptick was in line with a national gauge of consumer confidence, which also rose in July after four months of declines. Nationally, a brighter outlook for short-term hiring offset longer-term worries about the economy.

The Conference Board reported that its Consumer Confidence Index increased to 65.9, from 62.7 in June. That's the highest national reading since April and better than the reading of 62 that economists had forecast.

Still, the index remains well below 90, which indicates a healthy economy.

For the Florida telephone survey, three of the five components used to measure confidence rose in July. Survey takers said perceptions that they are better off financially today than a year ago rose five points to 66, the highest level since the Great Recession officially ended in late 2009.

Expectations that their personal finances would improve over the year also jumped six points, to 82, and perceptions that it's a good time to buy big-ticket items soared seven points, to 84.

Many, however, have grown more wary about the national economy. Expectations of where the economy will be a year from now fell one point to 72, while the five-year economic outlook dropped three points to 77.

"That opinion may be justified," McCarty said, citing the expiring tax breaks and hefty federal spending cuts that are slated to go into effect barring a fix by Congress at year end.

The survey is benchmarked to 1966, which means a value of 100 represents the same level of confidence as for that year. The lowest possible index score is a 2 and the highest is 150.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Floridians' consumer confidence edges up, but concerns about U.S. economy remains 07/31/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Make-A-Wish Foundation aims to help more kids in Tampa Bay

    Health

    The Make-A-Wish Foundation is on the lookout for sick children in the Tampa Bay area who need a once-in-a-lifetime pick-me-up.

    Grace Savage, a 10-year-old girl with a chromosomal disorder made a trek to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium last year, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The foundation intends to beef up its presence in the Tampa Bay area after a reorganization. The region is now the responsibility of the foundation's Southern Florida chapter, one of the most active in the country, with more than 11,000 wishes granted so far. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times ]
  2. Florida hides details in nursing home reports. Federal agencies don't.

    Medicine

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott widened his offensive Thursday against the Broward nursing home he blames for the deaths of 10 residents by setting up a tip line for information, but when it comes to access to the inspection reports of all nursing homes, the governor's administration has heavily censored what the …

    In the foreground is a document detailing the findings of a Feb. 2016 inspection at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills obtained from a federal agency, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Behind it is the state?€™s version of the same document, from the Agency for Health Care Administration, showing how it has been redacted before being released to the public. [Miami Herald]
  3. 'Toxic' times: How repeal of Florida's tax on services reverberates, 30 years later

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Long before Hurricane Irma attacked Florida, the state faced a troubled fiscal future that the storm will only make worse.

    Robertson says the tax debate is now “toxic.”
  4. Fewer Tampa Bay homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

    Real Estate

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages continues to drop. In the second quarter of this year, 10.2 percent of borrowers had negative equity compared to nearly 15 percent in the same period a year ago, CoreLogic reported Thursday. Nationally, 5.4 percent of all mortgaged homes were …

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages  continues to drop. [Times file photo]
  5. 'What Happened'? Clinton memoir sold 300,000 copies in first week

    Blogs

    Despite being met with decidedly mixed reviews, What Happened, Hillary Clinton's new memoir about the 2016 presidential campaign, sold a whopping 300,000 copies in its first week.

    The new memoir by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sold 300,000 copies in its first week.