Consumer confidence falls again amid likely worries about Social Security, Medicare
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumer confidence among Floridians declined for the fourth time in five months — falling to 66 in June — as the U.S. economy continues to sputter, according to a new University of Florida survey.
“Floridians appear to be growing concerned about the short-run health of the U.S. economy,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “As the deadline to adjust the debt ceiling approaches, some Floridians, particularly seniors, may be anticipating cuts to Social Security and Medicare which will likely have to be part of any long-term deficit reduction solution. Others may have concerns about raising the debt ceiling.”
Four of the five index components the survey measures decreased. The largest decline was in perceptions of U.S. economic conditions over the next year, which fell seven points to 61. Perceptions of personal financial situation expected a year from now fell one point to 74, perceptions of U.S. economic conditions over the next five years fell one point to 72 and confidence in purchasing big-ticket items such as cars and appliances dropped four points to 70. The only component to increase was perceptions of personal financial situation now compared to a year ago, which rose one point, to 53.
The declines among senior citizens surveyed were significant with possible cuts to Social Security and Medicare looming. Confidence among those aged 60 and over fell by an average of 7.25 points in four index components. Confidence in purchasing big-ticket items fell 11 points to 68, perceptions of U.S. economic conditions over the next year fell eight points to 55, perceptions of personal financial situation expected a year from now fell six points to 59 and perceptions of personal finances now compared to a year ago dropped four points to 45.