UF: Consumer Sentiment in Florida drops four points in June
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumer Sentiment among Floridians sank four points this month, after jumping four points to 78 in May, according to a University of Florida survey.
“In June Floridians reversed their optimism about their future finances,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “The decline was across age and income groups and did not reflect a specific policy change.”
In fact, there have been recent positive trends in Florida’s housing and job market, he added.
For the first time since February, all five components used to measure confidence declined. For example, perceptions of survey takers that they are better off financially now than they were a year ago fell one point to 61. Meanwhile, their overall expectations that their personal finances will improve a year from now fell 10 points to 86.
Respondents were also glum in their assessment of broader issues. Their confidence in the national economy over the coming year dropped three points to 73, while their trust in the national economy’s prospects for the next five years fell four points to 84. Floridians’ confidence in whether now is a good time to buy big-ticket consumer items, such as televisions and automobiles, also fell, dropping four points to 78.
In May, Consumer Sentiment was largely buoyed by perceptions that personal finances would improve. Such thinking “was likely due to the dramatic drop in gas prices between April and May, a decline of more than 50 cents a gallon,” McCarty said.
Although gas prices have continued to fall since then, the associated optimism may have slowed in June, McCarty said, because of increased news coverage about expiring tax cuts and automatic budget cuts in January that could disrupt the economy.