Consumers don’t seem to be sweating the mess in Washington.
A confidence index in Florida rose again this month, despite ongoing cutbacks in federal spending and wobbly employment reports across the country. The University of Florida index hit 79 in April, the highest since last fall.
The UF numbers come the same day that the Conference Board reported a surge in national confidence, with a six-point gain wiping out a six-point loss from March, when a sweeping package of federal spending cuts called the “sequester” began.
Monthly swings in the UF index can be dismissed as statistical noise, but the overall trend shows a state gradually feeling better about the economy. A 12-month average of the index sunk to 68 in the end of 2011, and has gone up eight points since to 76.
Despite the angst over the national economy, Florida is in the midst of a real estate rebound, eroding the damage done to assets at the core of many Floridians’ net worth.
The Miami Herald’s Economic Time Machine blog seeks to put South Florida’s recovery into historical perspective. We try to take the long view on economic stats. For analysis of the latest economic news, visit miamiherald.com/economic-time-machine and look for our weekly chart on Page 3 of Business Monday.