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Florida’s Consumer Confidence Hinges on Jobs, Election

Continued employment gains should help consumer confidence in Florida, but future optimism may be hindered by the 2012 elections, according to a University of Florida report.

The monthly consumer confidence numbers from UFs survey research center at the Bureau of Economic and Business Research indicated that Floridians are a little more pessimistic about the future than they were in March.

Chris McCarty, the survey director for the center, said the numbers could turn around in the short-term if employment and housing sales continue to improve.

However, McCarty pointed to an expected dip as we approach the November elections.

As the elections in November pick up and we near the end of the year, the economy will be front and center, and discussions of deficit-reduction will be rekindled, McCarty stated in a release. This will negatively impact many Floridians, particularly seniors.

Overall, Floridians were 2 points less confident about the economy than they were a month ago, with concerns down about personal finances and where the economy will be a year and five years from now.

The group expressing the most pessimism about the future are those 60 years of age and older, who as a group tend to be on a fixed budget, McCarty noted.

Overall the numbers remain higher than a year ago.

Last year the decline in confidence, which reached its lowest point in August, coincided with a decline in state revenue, leading to the budget deficit the Legislature had to make up in the session, McCarty stated.

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