GAINESVILLE, FLA. -- Consumer confidence among Floridians rose in July by 3 points from the revised June figure, according to the monthly University of Florida survey.
July's consumer confidence in Florida was 76, which is nine points higher than this time last year.
The driver was personal finances. According to Chris McCarty, survey director at the university, people, felt much better about them when compared to June ... and when compared to their circumstances since the recession ended more than two years ago.
Among the five components used to measure confidence, three showed an increase. Survey takers' overall perceptions that they are better off financially today than a year ago rose five points to 66.
According to McCarty, that's the highest since the end of the Great Recession in December 2009.
Expectations that their personal finances will improve by this time next year also went up by six points to 82.
Finally, perceptions that now is a good time to buy big-ticket items, such as washing machines and dryers, rose seven points to 84.
In the bigger picture, though, sentiment seems to be less rosy.
Confidence was down when it came to expectations of the national economy's performance both in the next year and during the next five years.
Overall, though, Floridians across all age groups are moderately upbeat.
Researchers traced that to a more positive housing picture,coupled with a time of record low-interest loans.