UF survey: Florida consumer confidence surges upward in January
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Consumer confidence among Floridians surged in January, up seven points to 77 from a revised December reading of 70, marking a steady rise in optimism, according to a University of Florida survey.
Four of the five categories measured by the survey reveal increased optimism. For instance, the overall perception among survey takers that they are better off financially than they were a year ago rose four points to 60, the highest figure since March 2008 when the U.S. economy began to falter. Expectations that their personal finances will improve by this time next year also rose eight points to 86.
In addition, confidence in the nation’s economy over the next year went up dramatically by 14 points to 74. Trust in the U.S. economy over the next five years was upbeat, too, moving 10 points to 83. These figures parallel results of a University of Michigan study that show consumer confidence across the nation shot up from 69.9 in December to 75 in January.
Only when it came to deciding if the present is a good time to buy big-ticket items such as an automobile or a refrigerator, did confidence among respondents sag, falling four points to 81.
“Consumer confidence in Florida is now back to the level it was in January 2011,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “We are beginning the year with the same pattern as last year where there were relatively steady increases in confidence from the end of the summer with a surge to 77 in January 2011. This was followed by seven months of decline with the low of 61 in August 2011 when Congress debated the debt ceiling.”
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/31/2617003/case-shiller-no-bottom-for-housing.html#storylink=cpy