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Fla. Consumer Confidence Index Not Improving

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Customers shop for electronics items during 'Black Friday' at a Best Buy store.  (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Customers shop for electronics items during ‘Black Friday’ at a Best Buy store. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com/NSF) – It probably didn’t show in the massive crowds that swamped South Florida stores on Thanksgiving, but according to the University of Florida, consumer confidence in the Sunshine State remained poor through November.

According to UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business research, Florida consumer confidence remained steady at 65 in November, but it’s only six points higher than the record low of 59 in June 2008 as the recession was just starting to ramp up.

The Florida numbers come after national numbers revealed that roughly 225 million people shopped over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and spent billions of dollars. Plus, gas prices have dropped by roughly seven cents in November.

Still, it’s not enough to get Florida consumers confidence up, at least in the short term.

“Consumers are slightly less optimistic about current conditions than they were last month and slightly more optimistic about long run conditions,” Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in BEBR told the News Service of Florida.

According to the index, Florida consumers do expect that their own financial situation will improve over the next year.

Still, until the unemployment picture in Florida shows a solid recovery, a full restoration of consumer confidence remains far away.

In addition, the Florida housing market’s depressed prices are showing no signs of easing up which is leaving many consumers out of disposable income.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service Of Florida contributed to this report.)

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