When it comes to the economy Florida consumers have been muttering "Oh man, I hate that stupid thing" for the past five or so years, but according to numbers released today Florida' consumer confidence has hit its highest level in five year. Which means Floridians are feeling more optimistic than they have about the economy since 2007.
The state's consumer confidence is monitored by the University of Florida. A score of 100 is pegged to the amount of consumer confidence Floridians had in 1966 for no other reason than that's when UF started tracking the data. According to today's number its at 79 points, up three points since August. The number say at 64 a year ago.
"The last time Florida consumer confidence hit 79 was in October 2007," Chris McCarty, director of UF's Survey Research Center told The Tampa Bay Times. "At that time, confidence was on its way down as the housing crisis was getting under way. This month's index comes at a time when the economy is still in recovery."
October 2007 was two months before the state officially fell into recession.
The state's improving outlook on the economy mirrors national trends. Americans are feeling better about job prospects and income prospects as the stock market has held steady and home prices are slowly rising.
It's tough to say how this could play into the upcoming presidential election, but Governor Rick Scott, who is up for reelection in two years, touted the numbers perhaps in hopes that a recovering economy in Florida would be better for incumbents in general.
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"The fact that Florida's consumer confidence is at a five-year high is more good news and evidence that our state is moving in the right direction," his statement read.
In general though it seems that Obama voters are much more optimistic about the economy than Romney voters.
"There are enormous differences in consumer confidence between Floridians who support Obama (averaging 98) and those who support Romney (averaging 63)," reads the report. "Obama levels are consistent with pre-recession highs while Romney levels are near all-time lows."