Consumer confidence is in full rebound for January and has climbed to its highest level in two years, according to a University of Florida (UF) survey and report completed this week.
The UF Bureau of Economic and Business Research published the results of its study, which shows the consumer sentiment among Floridians increased to 72.8 in January. That’s a notable jump by 3.3 points over the adjusted December consumer sentiment figure of 69.5. More significantly, January’s consumer confidence level is the highest it’s been since 2022.
“The surge in consumer sentiment in January stems from the positive shifts in Floridians’ expectations about the future, especially regarding the national economy. This growing optimism aligns well with the current economic outlook,” said Hector Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.
A key indicator for consumer sentiment is the perspective of buying big-ticket items, such as appliances and other household items that bring bigger price tags. The UF survey for January showed the sentiment for purchasing those big-ticket goods increased to 64.2 in January, up from 61 in December.
When it comes to perspectives on how their finances will look a year from now, Florida’s sentiment on that element also increased, from 81.6 in December to 85.5 in January. That means more Sunshine State residents are optimistic their personal finances will improve in the next 12 months.
Conversely, Floridians were slightly sour comparing their current finances to 2023. That figure fell from 56.6 in December to 56.2 in January. Many Floridians still see themselves as worse off financially than a year ago.
Still, Sandoval said the growing economic optimism among Floridians is mirroring the national mood, which appears to be growing economically.
“Overall, Floridians start the year with optimism. The increase in consumer confidence, particularly regarding future economic outlooks, indicates robust consumer spending, which will keep the favorable economic outlook in the upcoming months,” said Sandoval.
Ultimately, Sandoval acknowledged that persistent fears in the past two years that an economic recession was on its way for the U.S. simply doesn’t appear to be in the cards, at least for the moment.
“Contrary to expectations, the anticipated recession failed to materialize in 2023. Instead, a remarkably robust labor market, with unemployment at its lowest, boosted consumer spending, contributing significantly to the growth of the economy,” Sandoval said.
“Moreover, inflation has continued to ease in recent months. As a result, the Federal Reserve is poised to consider interest-rate cuts in the year ahead, providing further support to the economy and maintaining the economic expansion through 2024.”
The UF survey was conducted between Jan. 1-29 and tapped 722 Floridians who took the study’s questionnaire. The study was conducted through a combination of online surveys and cellphone outreach.