whiFlorida consumer confidence is near 15-year highs.
Consumer sentiment rose 2.8 points in February to 100.9 from a revised figure of 98.1 in January. The last time strong levels of confidence were seen was in January 2018. At that time, consumer sentiment reached 101.3 points. This month’s reading is the second highest since March 2002.
Among the five components that make up the index, three increased and two decreased.
Floridians’ opinions of their personal financial situation now compared with a year ago increased 1.3 points from 93.8 to 95.1.
The overall opinions as to whether this is a good time to buy a major household item fell. It dropped 1.1 points from 100.2 to 99.1.
Florida consumer confidence is near 15-year highs
Hector H. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, tells why Florida consumer confidence is near 15-year highs. “Despite the differing opinions by gender, overall these two components of the index showed that perceptions regarding the current economic conditions increased slightly among Floridians in February.”
Expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next year showed the greatest increase, up 7.9 points from 93.5 to 101.4. Similarly, expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next five years increased 6.7 points from 94 to 100.7. Expectations of personal financial situations a year from now decreased slightly from 109.1 to 108.2.
“Overall, Floridians are more optimistic. The increase in February’s confidence comes mostly from consumers’ future expectations about the national economy in the medium- and long-run. Importantly, these outlooks are shared by all Floridians regardless of their gender, age or socioeconomic status.”
Economic indicators in Florida remained positive. In particular, the labor market in Florida continued to add more jobs in December, and the monthly unemployment rate in Florida remained unchanged at 3.3%.
“Looking ahead, in view of the realized economic outlook, we anticipate consumer sentiment to remain high in Florida,” Mr Sandoval says.
The University of Florida study, conducted from 1-12 February, reflects the responses of 375 individuals on cellphones. The group represents a demographic cross section of Florida. The index is benchmarked to 1966. This means a value of 100 represents the same level of confidence for that year. The lowest index possible is a 2, while the highest is 150.