Independent Florida Alligator – NEWS STORY: Consumer confidence drops

Home/Blog, News, Samples/Independent Florida Alligator – NEWS STORY: Consumer confidence drops

A survey by UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research this week found that Florida consumers became more pessimistic in August.

The preliminary consumer confidence index for Florida decreased to 95 – a one-point drop from last month and a drastic fall from 112 last August, according to the Florida Consumer Attitude Survey.

The bureau employs UF students to conduct monthly telephone surveys to random phone numbers around the state using a random dialing system with questions on consumer confidence and other topics.

The survey included five questions that measured consumer confidence in an effort to predict future economic conditions around the state.

“The ones who really should be interested in the results are retailers because the index tells whether consumers are spending or not,” said Chris McCarty, who directed the survey. “Right now, it is the consumers who are propping up the economy due to decreases in foreign investment and exports.”

UF economics professor Dave Denslow said the drop could have an indirect impact on UF.

“The index is important because if sales tax revenue goes down due to a possible weak Christmas, it could mean less state funding for the university down the road,” he said.

Despite a recent national tax cut and rebate, Denslow pointed to more announcements of layoffs, a rise in unemployment, and decreases in the stock market as possible causes for the index change.

This month there were 430 survey responses statewide, which means that only a fraction of respondents were from the Gainesville area.

McCarty said consumer confidence in Gainesville might be at a different  level than in other regions of Florida.

“Gainesville is a little different from, let’s say, Orlando or Tampa because of the university and the tremendous amount of students,” he said. “We are buffered a little bit here. Naturally we are not expecting many layoffs from the university, plus we have so many students who may not work at all.”

McCarty added that the national economic downturn, because of factors like layoffs, could mean less people traveling to Florida, which could mean less sales tax and revenue from tourism.

Interestingly, McCarty mentioned that the downfall could actually be a good thing.

“The index has been fairly abnormal for quite some time,” he said. “There’s been a downturn, yet off of once of the economy’s longest expansion in years. This is more of a correction, nothing terrible.”

–Ashley Cisneros
Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.

By | 2007-04-01T15:59:59+00:00 April 1st, 2007|Categories: Blog, News, Samples|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Ashley Cisneros Mejia is a journalist, entrepreneur and marketer. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and later as an editor at Florida Trend business magazine. Ashley has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2009, as a technical writer, marketing manager, and public relations practitioner. She also founded two digital marketing agencies in Orlando. Named one of Orlando’s 40 Under 40 and honored by the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando for achievements in media and communications, Ashley earned a B.S. in Journalism and an M.S. in Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida.

Leave A Comment