Florida’s Consumer Sentiment wanes as events unravel overseas
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumer Sentiment among Floridians dropped four points in March to 72 as many economic indicators for Florida continue to show signs of weakness, according to a new University of Florida survey.
Three of the index components decreased as natural disasters and political turmoil overseas offset the index’s seven-point spike in January.
“There has been a lot of news in March for consumers to process,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research.
“The unrest in the Middle East and North Africa has been both inspirational and unnerving. The deteriorating circumstances in Libya have been of enormous concern both due to U.S. involvement and the effect on oil production. The earthquake in Japan raises questions about the stability of Japanese products, companies with a base in Japan, as well as reflection on the safety of our own nuclear-based power grid.”
McCarty also said gas prices, which had already been on their way up prior to these events, are likely to continue rising due to potential shortages from Libya, offline refineries in Japan, increased demand from China and India and seasonal increases as the summer approaches.