Consumer Sentiment unchanged among Floridians in December
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s Consumer Sentiment this month remained unchanged from November’s mark of 71, but there was significant movement among the five components that comprised the index, according to a new University of Florida survey.
The most noteworthy changes had to do with Floridians’ present and future perceptions of the economy. Perceptions of personal finances now compared to a year ago fell five points to 51, while perceptions of personal finances a year from now rose two points to 80. Perceptions of U.S. economic conditions over the next year fell four points to 65 while perceptions of economic conditions over the next five years rose one point to 78. Confidence also rose for buying big-ticket items such as cars and appliances as that index rose one point to 78.
“It is worth noting the growing divide between what consumers say they have in terms of their personal finances, and what they expect for the future,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic Business and Research.
Confidence declined four points to 66 for respondents age 60 and over, while it rose three points to 75 for those under age 60. Younger Floridians were particularly optimistic about their personal finances a year from now which rose seven points to 97.
The most drastic decline for seniors was their assessment of their personal financial situation now from a year ago which fell 10 points to 48.
“Consumer Sentiment among Floridians has settled into a long-term pattern, oscillating between the upper 60s and low 70s,” McCarty said. “Historically numbers this low would be consistent with recessionary levels. The recession of 2008-2009 changed that. Unlike past recessions where consumers led the recovery, this recovery is leaving a substantial proportion of the population behind.”