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Floridian consumer confidence bumps lower in April

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – April 29, 2016 – Consumer sentiment fell 3.5 points in April to 90.6, according to the latest University of Florida (UF) consumer survey – the lowest since October and lower than the previous 12-month average.
Of the five components that make up the index, four decreased and only one increased.
Perceptions about personal financial situations now compared with a year ago showed the greatest decline in this month’s reading: a 5.8-point change from 84.2 to 78.4.
“The decline in the perception of personal finances explains around one-third of the overall change in the index,” says Hector H. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.
“The biggest drop was in those 60 and older, but this lower perception is shared in general by all Floridians,” he adds.
The only component that increased focused on big-ticket purchases. Perceptions as to whether it’s a good time to buy a big-ticket item, such as an automobile or appliance, inched up seven-tenths of a point to 102.1. Expectations of personal finances a year from now went down by 4.2 points to 101.5.
Both short- and long-run outlooks about the U.S. economy declined. Expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next year decreased 3.3 points to 86.2; expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next five years dropped 5.1 points to 84.9.
“Most of the pessimism in April stems from expectations about future conditions, which account for 70 percent of the drop in the consumer sentiment index,” Sandoval says. While unfavorable views of the future were shared by all Floridians independent of their gender, age and income level, the sharpest declines were seen among those 60 and older and those with incomes less than $50,000.
Florida’s unemployment rate declined again in March from 5.0 to 4.9 percent, according to the latest employment report. The number of jobs added in March statewide was up 234,300 year-to-year but only 3,000 month-to-month.
“Notably, this is the smallest monthly gain since May 2012,” Sandoval says.
Professional and business services gained the most jobs this month, followed by education and health services; and the trade, transportation and utilities industry.
In the week ending April 16, the number of people in the U.S. filing for unemployment insurance fell to its lowest level since November 1973. The latest information for Florida also shows an important reduction in the initial claim of unemployment benefits during April.
© 2016 Florida Realtors®
 
Source: Florida Realtors Feed

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