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Consumer sentiment ticked up in September

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Consumer sentiment took an upward turn in September.

The latest University of Florida consumer survey found consumer sentiment among Floridians was up 2.8 points in September. The report found four of the five components increased in September, while one remained unchanged.

The report found perceptions about a person’s financial situation climbed 3.2 points from a year ago, up from 77.3 to 80.5; while opinions about whether to buy a big-ticket item are up 4.2 points. Those two components, researchers said, indicate Floridians’ view of the economy improved in September.

Those increases are driven by Floridians over the age of 60, said Hector H. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, in a statement. However, Sandoval said “in general, Floridians expressed more positive views compared with last month’s index score.”

The state’s economy grew in August, but there appear to be concerns about the quality of the new jobs. Sandoval said more Floridians are in “lower paying jobs compared with pre-recession levels.”

“Adding more low-wage and low-skill jobs does not directly translate into a higher standard of living for Florida workers,” he said.

The report also noted the political climate could be impacting Florida consumers.

“It’s not unusual to see politics creep into the consumer sentiment index during a presidential election, particularly in the expectations of U.S. economic conditions,” said Chris McCarty, director of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, in a statement. “The contrast between the candidates’ approach to the economy is as stark a contrast as any election in recent memory. While the polls show a tight race, this may ultimately bode well for (Hillary) Clinton in Florida.”


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