Respondents older than 60 more optimistic about economy; wealthier respondents also have a better outlook.
Confidence among Florida consumers has been steadily rising for the past decade since bottoming out in the last recession.
But the latest monthly consumer survey by the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research showed the state’s consumer sentiment dipped a bit in June.
The bureau last week said its Florida Consumer Sentiment Index fell by 1.9 points to 98.3 in June.
Floridians feel the same way as the rest of the country. The Conference Board two weeks ago said its national Consumer Confidence Index fell by 2.4 points to 126.4.
“While expectations remain high by historical standards, the modest curtailment in optimism suggests that consumers do not foresee the economy gaining much momentum in the months ahead,” Conference Board Director of Economic Indicators Lynn Franco said in a news release.
Florida is doing well, but consumers are concerned about the overall U.S. economy.
“The drop in June’s confidence came primarily from consumers’ expectations about the national economic conditions over the next year,” Hector Sandoval, director of the bureau’s economic analysis program, said in a news release.
“This decline might come as a result of the potential impact that the new tariffs on imports and foreign retaliation might have on the economy in the short run,” he said.
The Florida index is based on a scale of 2 to 150, with the index benchmarked to 100 in 1966.
In the last decade, the index fell as low as 58.8 in June 2008, in the middle of the 2007-09 recession.
The index rose above 100 twice this year, including in May.
The June 2018 survey for Florida showed concern about consumers’ personal finances, with the index of their current situation, compared with a year ago, and expectations of their finances a year from now both declining.
Age is impacting consumer sentiment, with respondents 60 and older expressing more optimism than those under 60, UF said.
Income is another factor affecting sentiment. Consumer sentiment for people with income of $50,000 or more did fall by 3.9 points but remained strong at 105.3 in June, while sentiment for those below $50,000 was unchanged but with a much lower index value of 89.9.
Men and women also have sharply different outlooks. The sentiment index for men dropped by 5.2 points in June to 101.8, while the index for women rose by 0.9 points but remained much lower at 94.8.
Sandoval expressed confidence that the strong Florida labor market will keep consumer confidence strong in the state.
“In view of the continued positive labor market conditions in Florida, we expect consumer confidence to remain high,” he said.