NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
Florida consumers’ confidence dropped in November after spiking to new highs in the previous two months, likely driven by gloom among those disappointed by the election, according to a University of Florida survey released Tuesday.
The consumer confidence rating of 76 this month was down four points from October, the university’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research said.
People’s perceptions of their personal finances dropped year over year, as did expectations for their personal finances and expectations for the economy as a whole in the nation over the next year and the next five years. Respondents’ perceptions on buying bit ticket consumer items were unchanged.
“We expected a decline in consumer confidence for two reasons,” said survey director Chris McCarty.
“The main reason for the decline was the outcome of the elections. Florida was the most divided state in the country, with President Obama winning by 73,309 votes. No matter who won, half of the state was not going to be happy with the outcome.”
Fiscal cliff a concern
McCarty said that since the economy was a central issue, half the electorate naturally thinks the election was bad for the economy.
“The other reason for the decline is the sudden burst of media coverage regarding the fiscal cliff,” McCarty said.
The bureau said that generally economic indicators in the state remain relatively positive.
Unemployment declined in October and housing stock is declining, increasing demand in the housing market. Gas prices are also down.