Consumer sentiment among Floridians fell another 1.6 points in May to 89.4, according to the latest University of Florida consumer survey. This reading is lower than the previous 12-month average, trending downward for the third month in a row.
Of the five components that make up the index, three decreased and two increased.
Perceptions of one’s personal financial situation now compared with a year ago show the greatest increase, from 80.4 to 85.2, a 4.8-point jump. Expectations of personal finances a year from now rose 1.9 points to 103.1.
Opinions as to whether now is a good time to buy a big-ticket item such as an appliance or automobile plummeted 8.6 points, from 101.4 to 92.8.
“This pessimistic perception is the main force behind the overall decrease in Florida’s consumer sentiment index this month and is shared by all Floridians, independent of their age, gender or income,” said Hector H. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “Nonetheless, it is worth noting that the two groups exhibiting the most drastic change in perceptions as to whether this is a good time to make a big household purchase are the elder population and those with annual income less than $50,000.”
Expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next year dropped 4 points to 81.6, and expectations of U.S. economic conditions over the next five years decreased 2.1 points, from 86.2 to 84.1.
Both short- and long-run expectations of the U.S. economy have fallen in the past two months. However, this month’s negative expectations are accompanied by a substantial decline in readings on current conditions.