Consumer confidence

Homeowners underwater on mortgages hold back First Coast's economic recovery

The reviving Northeast Florida economy is coming up for air after the brutal recession, but one remnant of the downturn is still holding back the recovery — the high number of homeowners underwater on their mortgages.

In the Jacksonville area, about 45 percent of property owners with mortgages owe more than the homes are worth, according to CoreLogic, a California company that tracks the real estate industry.

That is double the rate for the nation. And it casts a long shadow on other positive economic trends.

UF: Florida consumers remain mildly optimistic

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumer Sentiment among Floridians dropped one point in February to 76 from January, according to a University of Florida survey. The modest decline followed two months of rising levels of confidence in the economy.

UF survey: Florida Consumer Sentiment surges upward in January

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumer Sentiment among Floridians surged in January, up seven points to 77 from a revised December reading of 70, marking a steady rise in optimism, according to a University of Florida survey.

Employment up in Marion

Fourteen of Florida's 22 markets, including Ocala, added new jobs over the past year, state figures show. Nearly half of the jobs went to three areas: Tampa-St. Petersburg added 26,900 jobs; Miami picked up 18,700; and Jacksonville increased by 8,300 jobs.

UF survey: Florida Consumer Sentiment jumps in December

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumer Sentiment among Floridians rose three points to 69 in December, reflecting a cautious optimism in the economy, according to a recent University of Florida survey. Though the latest figure is only one point below the level set in December 2010, it also marks the highest rank in the past nine months.

The index used by UF researchers in the survey is benchmarked to 1966, which means a value of 100 represents the same level of confidence for that year. The lowest index possible is a 2; the highest is 150.

UF survey: Florida’s Consumer Sentiment stays level in November

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Consumer Sentiment Index among Floridians remained at 65 in November, a ranking that matches a revised mark set in October and is only two points higher than the record low of 59 set in June 2008.

The index used by University of Florida researchers is benchmarked to 1966, which means a value of 100 represents the same level of confidence for that year. The lowest index possible is a 2; the highest is 150.

The November survey reveals a mixture of positive and negative perceptions.

UF study finds modest rise in Florida’s Consumer Sentiment

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose this month to 64, up three points from a revised mark of 61 in August, which was only two points higher than the record low of 59 set in June 2008, according to a new University of Florida survey.

“The increase in confidence this month was mostly a rebound from very low levels in August,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research and Survey Research Center, which conducted the survey.

UF report: Florida’s Consumer Sentiment falls in October

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After a modest gain in September, Consumer Sentiment among Floridians fell a point in October to 63, four points above the record low of 59 set in June 2008, according to a new University of Florida study.

The index used by UF researchers is benchmarked to 1966, so a value of 100 represents the same level of confidence for that year. The lowest index possible is a 2; the highest is 150.

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