Consumer Sentiment falls and views of personal finances reach new low

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Fears about the economic effects of the BP oil spill caused a slight decline in Florida’s Consumer Sentiment in July, while expectations about personal finances reached a record low, according to a new University of Florida survey.

“It was no surprise that Consumer Sentiment remained subdued among Floridians in July as the oil from Deepwater Horizon continued to flow into the Gulf most of the month,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “This comes at a time when other economic indicators were showing signs of changing for the better.”

Consumer Sentiment fell two points to 65, its lowest point in 16 months, with respondents especially pessimistic about their future finances, he said.

“Perceptions of personal finances a year from now is at the lowest level ever recorded as Floridians do not anticipate a good outcome to the spill’s effect on the Florida economy,” he said.

That component of the index fell four points to 72. Three of the other four components also dropped and one rose. Expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next year fell three points to 61, while expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next five years fell two points to 69. Both of these components are at their lowest levels since February 2009. Perceptions of whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket consumer items fell one point to 76. Perceptions of personal finances now compared with a year ago rose two points to 48.

“Although Florida was by no means recovered from the recession, there were signs that the economy was turning around prior to the oil spill,” McCarty said.

Read story:
Consumer Sentiment falls and views of personal finances reach new low - University of Florida News - July 27, 2010

More on this topic:
Floridians' confidence in their own finances hits a record low, UF survey shows - St. Petersburg Times - July 27, 2010
Oil spill fears put damper on Floridian’s confidence - South Florida Business Journal - July 27, 2010
Survey: Fla. personal finance expectations at record low - Gainesville Sun - July 27, 2010
Floridians not confident about their finances - Sun Sentinel - July 27, 2010
Consumer Sentiment falls to lowest since February - Sun Palm Beach Post - July 27, 2010
U.S. Consumer Sentiment falling - Sarasota Herald Tribune - July 28, 2010