UF: Floridians Remain Confident, but Concerned
Floridians continue to remain confident in October, much the same as a post-recession high, according to a just released survey by the University of Florida.
“Floridians are still feeling relatively optimistic in October as we head into the final week of the election,” said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “The index was revised up a point in September to a post-recession high of 80. Our preliminary October reading of 79 is near that high, although in normal times it would be historically low.”
The survey components though, showed mixed results, with consumers both upbeat and concerned in October. For example, while their level of confidence in the nation’s economic health over the next year rose three points to 84, the survey also showed that confidence in personal finances compared with a year ago fell three points to 61.
McCarthy attributed the increased pessimism over personal finances to perhaps some awareness of the set of automatic federal budget cuts and tax increases. He suggested too that Floridians’ ambivalence might be tied to the election outcomes.
Nonetheless, several indicators are positive for Florida and the rest of the nation, including a downward trend in the jobless rate, higher than expected economic growth in the third quarter and increases in new home sales and the median price of existing homes.
This said, economic perils loom ahead such as the “fiscal cliff,” McCarthy said.
The UF survey was conducted during the period October 12-25 and reflects the responses of 412 individuals who represent a democraphic cross section of Florida.