Consumer Sentiment Index
Reports measuring the mood of consumers toward buying based on the monthly Florida Consumer Attitude Survey conducted by the Bureau’s UF Survey Research Center.
All publications on this page are FREE. Click links to read the PDF or download the report. This survey has been conducted every month since February of 1985.
Method of Survey
Approximately 250 adult Florida residents are surveyed monthly by telephone and online for the Florida Consumer Sentiment Index survey. Eligibility is determined by asking the person who answers the phone or takes the survey online if they are age 18 or older and living in a private residence in Florida. Telephone sample is RDD (Random Digit Dialing) Cell Phone, with sample purchased from Marketing Systems Group. A maximum of five attempts per record is made, and interviews are conducted in both English and Spanish. Surveys are conducted between 9am and 9pm Monday through Friday, between 12pm and 6pm on Saturdays and between 3pm and 9pm on Sundays. Survey length is typically 12 minutes. The online survey is administered by Qualtrics.
Respondents are asked 2 questions about current financial conditions and 3 questions about future expectations. These same 5 questions are asked monthly by the University of Michigan in a national consumer sentiment telephone survey. The Conference Board also measures Consumer Confidence nationally through a mail survey on a monthly basis.
Additional questions about the economy and other topics are included monthly as well.
Data collected each month is reported twice. The number in the release is a preliminary number with the interviews conducted so far that month. The revised index numbers reflecting the entire month can be found on the subsequent month’s releases.
Modeled after the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, the UFSRC Consumer Sentiment Index for each respondent is calculated ranging from 2 to 150. The University of Michigan index—as well as the University of Florida index—use 1966 as their base. In other words, the index was 100 in 1966. Numbers over 100 mean more optimism than 1966. UFSRC has been surveying Consumer Sentiment in Florida since 1985. The highest index was 111 in August 2000 while the lowest was 59 in August 2008.
The mean index is published as a two month rolling average. Data are weighted using a raking method by age, gender and county to reflect true population parameters using the most recent Florida Estimates of Population. Margin-of-error for the “FLORIDA” readings are (+/-) 4.5 percentage points at a 95% confidence level based on actual sample size without adjustments for weighting or design effects. Scores are also provided for two subgroups by gender, income (below $50,000 and $50,000 or above ), and age (under age 60 and 60 and above) Since those are based on a smaller sample size (approximately n=250 each month), the margin of error for those is about 6.2%
Slight revisions have been made to the methodology through the decades since 1985. Changes effective January 2015 included switching the sample from random digit dialing landline to random digit dialing cell phone and changing the income analysis cutoff from $30,000 to $50,000. Additionally, in 2020, an online panel was included in addition to the cell phone sample.
We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) are better off or worse financially than you were a year ago? (Answer choices: better off, same, worse off)
About the big things people buy for their homes — such as furniture, refrigerators, stoves, televisions, and things like that. Generally speaking, do you think now is a good or a bad time for people to buy major household items? (Answer choices: good time, uncertain, bad time)
Future Expectations Now, looking ahead — do you think that a year from now you (and your family living there) will be better off financially, or worse off, or just about the same as now? (Answer choices: better off, same, worse off)
Now turning to business conditions in the country as a whole — do you think that during the next 12 months we’ll have good times financially, or bad times, or what? (Answer choices: 1 Good times, 2 Good with qualifications,3 Uncertain; Good and Bad, 4 Bad times, 5 Bad with qualifications)
Looking ahead, which would you say is more likely — that in the country as a whole we’ll have continuous good times during the next five years or so, or that we will have periods of widespread unemployment or depression, or what? (Answer choices: 1 Good times, 2 Good with qualifications,3 Uncertain; Good and Bad, 4 Bad times, 5 Bad with qualifications)