1. News
  2. /
  3. Business

Consumer confidence around Florida rose in November

A monthly survey by University of Florida researchers found Floridians feeling more optimistic about their personal finances and the economy in general.
A brighter outlook: A University of Florida survey of Floridians in November found consumer confidence higher than the average of the preceding 12 months.
A brighter outlook: A University of Florida survey of Floridians in November found consumer confidence higher than the average of the preceding 12 months.
Published Dec. 9, 2019

Recession? What recession?

Floridians’ felt better about their finances and business conditions during November, according to a new survey from the University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research. And what improved the most was how they expect the economy to look a year from now.

“Consumer sentiment in Florida remains high, and November’s reading is higher than the average of the last 12 months,” Hector H. Sandoval, director of the bureau’s economic analysis program, said in announcing the survey results.

For the monthly survey, researchers called a demographic cross-section of 504 Floridians on their cell phones. Compared with October, the number of optimistic responses they got went up when people were asked:

• How they felt about their finances now compared with a year ago.

• What they expect their personal finances to be like a year from now.

• What they expect the U.S. economy to be like in five years.

• Whether this is a good time to make a big household purchase like an appliance.

“November was definitely busier than October,” said Laura Greco, whose family owns APSCO Appliance Center in Largo. “We we were up a little bit over the previous November.”

Snowbirds drive a lot of business from roughly October through April, Greco said, and in appliance retailing Black Friday deals start earlier in the month. A lot of customers recognize that, so they might wait until November if they want to replace a working appliance. Or, if they have to replace something that doesn’t work in November, they might buy other new appliances, too.

“We sell a lot of packages in November,” Greco said Monday.

Every month, University of Florida researchers use the survey results to measure consumer confidence against a historical index that ranges from 2 (the bleakest possible score) to 150 (the most hopeful). After dropping slightly in October, the index for November rose a little more than three points from 96.1 to 99.3.

A survey of Floridians in November found consumer confidence higher than the average of the preceding 12 months. [University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research]

That sunnier outlook is similar to a similar uptick in consumer confidence found in a monthly national survey by the University of Michigan. Another assessment by the nonprofit Conference Board reported a slight decline in consumer confidence, which it said remained high overall.

While consumer spending continues to boost the national economy, manufacturing remains in a funk, according to the November survey from the nonprofit Institute for Supply Management. Economic activity in manufacturing contracted for the fourth straight month in November, the institute said, with declines in index measures of new orders, employment, inventories and export orders.

RELATED: Beating expectations takes the sting out of shaky economic numbers

In the Florida survey, the biggest increase in consumer confidence came when pollsters asked what Floridians expect the economy to be like next year. Positive responses rose a little more than 7 points to 97.5 for the category. And there may be more to come.

“Looking ahead to the coming months, in view of the realized economic outlook in Florida, we anticipate consumer sentiment to remain high,” Sandoval said.


  1. Erica Allums poses for a portrait behind the counter at Banyan Cafe in St. Petersburg while she was still the owner. Now, she's in the process of taking over the MLK spot once again. [Times (2018)] [Tampa Bay Times]
    The Central Avenue location will continue to operate as normal.
  2. A for sale sign is seen in front of a home in the Westchase area of Tampa. CHRIS URSO  |  Times (2013)
    And a spike in cash sales suggests investors were active in the market.
  3. Florida's unemployment rate hit a record low in December. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) [LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP]
    Nearly every major job sector posted gains from a year earlier.
  4. A proposed bill in the Legislature would set a statewide referendum on whether to amend Florida's constitution to add a year to the period when home buyers can transfer their accumulated benefits under the Save Our Homes cap on property assessments to a new home. Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty says going from two years to three would reduce the possibility that construction delays in a booming real estate market would prevent some buyers from meeting the deadline, costing them potentially thousands 
 of dollars in property tax savings. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times (2019)]
    The bill, the idea of Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty, would give buyers another year to transfer their tax savings under Florida’s Save Our Homes assessment cap to a home they’ve...
  5. The Tampa Bay Times' headquarters in downtown St. Petersburg. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
    No customer information was compromised. The Times is removing the malicious code.
  6. Concentrix has told the state of Florida that it plans to lay off as many as 174 employees from one of the programs it has at the Interstate Corporate Center east of Tampa. This is the same call center hit with 245 layoffs announced in November. (Google street view photo) [Google Street View]
    In November, Concentrix, the California multinational company that runs the center, announced the layoffs of 245 employees.
  7. Loreen Spencer (left) and Sue Watts, the two newest members of HCI Group's board of directors. [HCI Group]
    “I just wish I had thought of this earlier,” the chairman and CEO said.
  8. Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans will become the headquarters for Medicare and pharmacy operations now that it has been acquired in a $17 billion cash and stock deal by Centene Corp., base in St. Louis. (Times files)
    New owner Centene said it “expects to maintain strong operations in Tampa,” which is anticipated to be the headquarters for its Medicare and pharmacy operations.
  9. A Publix chicken tender sub sandwich. Pub Subs are now easier to order through Instacart grocery deliveries. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
    New Instacart Meal program to make Pub Sub orders a breeze, according to the grocery delivery app.
  10. Johanna Santiago, 50, of Riverview, hopes to start selling her Joba Sofrito early this year. Santiago developed the product, a savory Puerto Rican cooking sauce, with help from the nonprofit Enterprising Latinas in Wimauma. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
    Selling food and crafts, three women are among the dozens who turned to the organization for training in 2019.