Fla. consumer confidence drops again

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Consumer confidence in Florida was down again last month, according to a University of Florida survey.

The monthly survey released Tuesday shows the state's consumer confidence dropped 1 point to 76 in September. That's on a scale of 2 to 150 benchmarked to 1966 at a value of 100.

The survey found the expectation of personal finances a year from now fell three points to 78. Expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next year fell four points to 74 while expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next five years fell six points to 72. Perceptions as to whether it is a good time to buy big ticket items rose three points to 90.

Chris McCarty, who directs the survey, says the downturn suggests an ongoing trend and he warned that the state could slide back into recession if the federal government shuts down. He also notes that lower-income households remain pessimistic about their current and personal finances.

"The decline in our index is definitely a trend and one that is now being reflected in other economic data," said McCarty. "This month's decline is once again concentrated among lower income households, who are particularly pessimistic about their current and future personal finances. The growing pessimism about long-term U.S. economic conditions was fueled by lower income respondents and seniors."

McCarty notes that while there has been positive economic news recently a closer look shows that Florida actually lost jobs last month.

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