New Survey Reveals That Consumer Confidence Is At An All-Time Low
High gas and food prices, declining housing costs, and last month's increase in unemployment are the main reasons. And, consumers are not expected to start spending their money freely anytime soon.
In 1966, the consumer index rating was an even 100 points. During the dot.com boom, it went over 100. Now, it's all the way down to 57, which is the lowest point total ever for the state of Florida.
Steve Duke is doing everything he can to save money. He's even considering buying a motorcycle to save money on gas.
"I shop at the lower priced grocery stores, and stuff like that and of course gas," said Duke. "I'm really watchin my gas."
According to Chris McCarty, UF Survey Research Center spokesman, said Duke is definitely not alone.
"I would have to expect with numbers like this that in the near term consumers are really going to be pulling back."
The consumer index is composed of five components. All five fell this month, and three reached record lows.
"The biggest area to fall was perception of whether or not it's a good time to buy big ticket items," said McCarty. "That is now down to 47 and its an all time record low for that."
But because big ticket items aren't selling well right now, some lower priced items are actually selling better.
"Some of the larger ticket items probably aren't moving as well as we'd like, but we're making it up selling a lot of small things like scooters and motorcycles that get over 70 miles to the gallon," said Frank Curtis, Streits Motorsports owner.
The consumer confidence survey is conducted monthly, and is designed to predict buying patterns based on the moods of consumers. 360 people were polled out of the roughly 18 million residents of Florida. McCarty says the margin of error is about six percent.
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