UF survey: Consumer confidence up in Florida

12/24/08 Seán Kinane
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In Florida, the economic news is not all bad, according to a new University of Florida survey on consumer confidence.

Chris McCarty is survey director of UF’s Survey Research Center. “Consumer confidence in Florida is up from November … That’s still a low number historically speaking, but it is certainly better than it was last month.”

Sixty-seven points is not a percentage, but an index, McCarty said. The monthly Florida Consumer Attitude Survey is indexed to a 1966 baseline of 100.

McCarty said Floridians are feeling more confident now for four out of five categories in the survey.

People should be “cautious,” McCarty said, in interpreting the results of the survey to mean that the outlook for Florida’s retailers and government will improve quickly.

“Once the first quarter of 2009 is over, we’ll probably have a better idea.”

McCarty said that lower income people and seniors are the most pessimistic of their personal finances, while upper-income Floridians are the most optimistic. He predicts that the economy in Florida will not turn around until at least the second quarter of 2009.

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