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Florida consumer sentiment soars amid holiday shopping, improved state economy

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Consumer sentiment among Floridians surged up 6.9 points in December to 97.2, according to the latest University of Florida consumer survey. This is the highest reading since March 2015 and the second-highest since February 2004—before the Great Recession of 2008. All five of the components that make up the index increased. Perceptions of one’s personal financial situation now compared with a year ago rose 1.4 points, from 81.5 to 82.9. Opinions as to whether now is a good time to…

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Patrick La Pine: Here’s one way to help Americans: Repeal the Durbin Amendment

in 2017/Top Headlines by

This election season, we rarely get a chance to talk about policy issues that don’t go viral on social platforms. But that doesn’t make it any less important to highlight these issues — especially when Washington is making decisions that affect your wallet. Six years ago, a lot of people were debating our financial system and making rules for Wall Street, hoping to bring about more of what was good for Main Street. Unfortunately, some special interests used the crisis…

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Halloween 2015 to scare consumers with rising candy prices

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Halloween will be giving consumers a fright this year, and right in the goodie bag. While Bloomberg Business is reporting the Federal Reserve will most likely keep policy rates close to zero at this week’s meeting, those calling for raising rates have a holiday-themed statistic to rely upon: trick-or-treat candy prices are expected to rise. Candy and chewing gum prices – a subset of the Consumer Price Index – will be up 4.2 percent over last year, according to a…

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Florida consumer sentiment dips in April

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Consumer sentiment among Floridians dropped more than three points in April to 94.1, according to a monthly University of Florida survey. All five components that make up the index declined. Perceptions of personal finances now compared with a year ago fell nearly four points from 88.1 to 84.3, while expectations of personal finances a year from now declined from 104.7 to 103.3. Expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next year dropped from 95.4 to 91.8, while anticipation of U.S.…

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U.S. job market faces hurdles even with 5.5 pct. unemployment

in Top Headlines by

Unemployment in the U.S. has dropped to a seven-year low of 5.5 percent — a level normally considered the mark of a healthy job market. Yet that number isn’t as encouraging as it might sound. While U.S. employers added a solid 295,000 jobs in February, and the jobless rate fell from 5.7 percent, it went down mostly because many people gave up looking for work and were no longer officially counted as unemployed, the government reported Friday. What’s more, wage…

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Sunday’s editorial pages

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

St. Petersburg Times – Bill Foster for St. Petersburg mayor – One candidate for St. Petersburg mayor offers the experience and leadership to build on the city’s accomplishments and meet its challenges. Bill Foster embraces the progress and offers an optimistic vision for the future. Kathleen Ford sees flaws, fights old battles and charts a different direction — backward. Lakeland Ledger – Public Service Commission: Regulators and the Regulated – Whatever the scandal-ridden Florida Public Service Commission decides regarding multibillion-dollar…

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