The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Scorecard suggests the upward trend we’ve seen in consumer confidence will lead to stronger retail sales this holiday season.
The chart below, which can be created using The Florida Scorecard’s Interactive Charts feature, highlights the relationship between Florida’s taxable retail sales (in grey) and monthly consumer confidence levels (in green). The line graph indicates the changes in consumer confidence can lead the direction of retail sales. For example, in 2006, there is a declining trend in consumer confidence levels, followed by a sharp reduction in retail sales as a result of the 2007 Great Recession. Subsequently, consumer confidence rose in 2008 before the recovery in sales volume.
“This relationship between consumer confidence and taxable retail sales is helpful in predicting Florida’s upcoming holiday season,” said Rick Sessa, Research and Policy Manager for the Florida Chamber Foundation. “The strong upward trend in retail sales that has held through August 2012, combined with timely releases of the Florida consumer confidence index, serves as a bellwether of seasonal economic activity.”
The overall trend for Florida’s consumer confidence is positive as holiday shopping begins this month. We should expect that based on the leading nature of consumer confidence, Florida will have a stronger retail season when compared to 2011—consistent with the continued economic recovery in the U.S. and Florida.