Consumer optimism rising according to UF monthly survey
The economy is pretty good, but not everyone believes that. Image via AP.   

0106-Consumer-confidence-US
The feeling that now is a good time to make a major purchase reached its highest point since October 2021.

Floridians’ optimism about the economy ticked upward for the second consecutive month, with views on discretionary spending reaching the survey’s highest point since October 2021, according to a University of Florida survey.

The UF Survey Research Center conducts a monthly survey measuring the mood of consumers toward buying. Researchers found that, in June, Floridians’ anticipation of national economic conditions is pulling up the survey’s score for consumer sentiment.

Easing inflation and the Fed’s mid-June decision not to increase borrowing rates were identified as factors improving consumers’ outlook on financial matters, UF officials said.

Wednesday’s UF news release came along with other reports that leading economists at big banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have lowered their odds of an imminent recession.

“Looking ahead and considering the positive economic conditions in Florida, including a strong labor market and an unemployment rate holding steady at 2.6% since January 2023, we anticipate further gradual improvements in consumer sentiment,” said Hector J. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

The survey of 237 people via cell phone and another 265 via an email panel between May 1 through June 20 measured sentiment on five components that make up UF’s index. It’s modeled after the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index.

Three of the indicators show an increase, one is unchanged, and another — the respondent’s view of current personal finances compared to a year ago — dipped.

The greatest increase from last month’s survey results is in the respondents’ outlook on U.S. economic conditions over the next five years. Also trending upward: expectations of one’s personal finances for a year from now and whether now is a good time to buy a big-ticket item, like a household appliance.

“Improved spending intentions indicate consumers are willing to increase their spending, which is a promising sign for the economy,” Sandoval said.

Notably, however, this favorable view was not shared separating out the responses of men, people older than 60 and those with an annual income of more than $50,000.

The view that one’s finances were not as good as a year ago was shared by all the age groups surveyed, excluding women.

While the preponderance of respondents reported they expect the national economic outlook to improve over the next five years, their view of whether it will improve or deteriorate over the next year remained unchanged from the previous month, the survey found.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


2 comments

  • Dont Say FLA

    July 5, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    This, despite the never ending claims made by Florida “Men” Trump, Rhonda, and Francis (MoM Suarez) about how the country and economy are falling apart under the Biden administration. It must be a hoax, lol.

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Comments are closed.


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