Floridians’ consumer confidence hits 17-year high

Floridians’ consumer confidence hits 17-year high

 Consumer sentiment in Florida reached its highest level in 17 years, increasing 1.4 points in April to 102 from a revised figure of 100.6 in March.

These levels of confidence have not been observed since March 2002 when consumer sentiment reached 102 points.

Among the five components that compose the index, one decreased and four increased.

Current conditions
Floridians’ opinions about current economic conditions were mixed. Views of personal finances now compared with a year ago increased eight-tenths of a point, from 96.7 to 97.5. Conversely, opinions as to whether now is a good time to buy a big ticket item such as an appliance decreased 1.2 points, from 107.5 to 106.3.

Future expectations
The three components representing expectations for future economic conditions improved in April. Expectations of personal financial situations a year from now rose 3.2 points, from 106.8 to 110 – the highest level for this component since May 1999 when it reached 110 points.

Expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next year increased 2.3 points, from 97.6 to 99.9. Similarly, expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next five years increased 2.4 points, from 94.2 to 96.6.

“Overall, Floridians are more optimistic,” says Hector H. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “April’s confidence boost stems from the positive outlook regarding national economic conditions in the short- and long-run. It is worth noting expectations are split among the population by gender, with women reporting less-favorable views.

Other economic indicators in Florida continue to be favorable. In March, economic activity expanded and the Florida unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5 percent. Compared with last year, the number of jobs added statewide was 209,700, an increase of 2.4 percent.