Florida consumer confidence drops in November due to coronavirus

US President Washington in a medical mask.
Economists expect consumer confidence to remain low.

Consumer sentiment among Floridians dropped for the second month in a row in November, according to the Bureau of Economic Research at the University of Florida.

A survey of Floridians showed economic sentiment becoming more uneasy as the coronavirus outbreak showed a strong comeback this fall. Florida’s November consumer sentiment rating came in at 80.9, a decline of 3.5 points from Octobers revised rating of 84.4.

“While responses to the different components of the index were split by socio-demographic groups, women and those with an annual income over $50,000 consistently reported less favorable views across all five questions of the index,” said Hector Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

Floridians expressed a bleak outlook for the state’s economy in the coming months. The consumer sentiment survey showed more people in the state were skeptical about financial expectations a year from now with that figure dropping from 98.1 in October to 90.9 in November.

The expectations about the U.S. economy in the coming year also soured, falling from 87.1 in October to 82.9 in November.

Even recent announcements about pending vaccines to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and control the pandemic couldn’t help stem the negative outlook.

“Despite the positive news about the efficacy of several coronavirus vaccine front-runners, bringing hope that economic activity can bounce back next year, Floridians’ views about future economic conditions plunged in November,” Sandoval said.

November’s figures dipped lower than October’s, which was the first downturn in consumer sentiment in several months. Many Floridians were beginning to indicate they were more upbeat after coronavirus started to wane in late summer months until October when the outbreak resurged.

Sandoval said it might be a while before consumer confidence rebounds.

“Looking ahead, as the cases of coronavirus increase and restrictions are reimposed across the country, limiting social and economic activity, we can expect continued low levels of consumer confidence in the following months,” Sandoval said.

The consumer sentiment survey was conducted between Nov. 1 and Nov. 25 by contacting 472 Floridians by cellphone or online questionnaires.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at drewdixonwriting@gmail.com.



#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704