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Consumer confidence in Florida drops sharply in August

Consumer confidence among Floridians dropped sharply last month.

The Florida Consumer Sentiment Index dropped 6.7 points to 93.3 in August, the biggest drop in more than four years. The monthly index was released last week by the University of Florida.

The components making up the index — current personal financial situation and expectations of future economic conditions — all declined.

The decline in respondents' personal financial situation was particularly acute in people older than 60, women and those making less than $50,000 a year, according to the survey.

The index is benchmarked to 1966, which means a value of 100 represents the same level of confidence for that year. The lowest possible score is 2 and the highest is 150.

The less-favorable opinions and expectations for the economy are most likely due to the ongoing trade war with China, even though Florida's economy continues to expand, said Hector Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF's Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

"Although the latest movements in consumer confidence anticipate a declining economic position, economic indicators in Florida are still favorable," Sandoval said.

The survey was based on the responses of 403 individuals who were reached on cellphone.

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