In survey, Florida shoppers feel a little better

Florida consumers got a confidence boost this month, according to a new survey released Wednesday. But they're still worried about their current financial situation – and that's a bad omen for holiday spending.

The state's consumer confidence index, measured monthly by University of Florida researchers, rose five points in December to 67.

The index is keyed to 1966, so a score of 100 would mean the same level of confidence as that year.

Chris McCarty, the UF researcher who oversees the survey, said the increase probably reflects consumers' hopes for new leadership in the White House.

"Consumers are looking forward to a shift in the economy toward something better in 2009," McCarty, director of the Survey Research Center at UF's Bureau of Economic and Business Research, said in a written statement. "Consumers are confident that the new administration will resolve the economic crisis and that much of the intervention so far will work."

The survey found increased optimism in consumers' views on: whether now is a good time to make a major purchase; the outlook for the U.S. economy over the next year; personal finances a year from now; and the outlook for the U.S. economy over the next five years.

To read the complete article, visit The Miami Herald.

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