GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Consumer confidence is down slightly in Florida this month, but experts expect it to drop even more if Congress does nothing to stop massive federal budget cuts set to go into effect Friday.
The monthly University of Florida survey released Tuesday shows the state's consumer confidence dropped one point in February to 74. That's on a scale of 2 to 150 benchmarked to 1966 at a value of 100. Chris McCarty, who directs the survey, attributed the reduction to the expiration of a temporary payroll tax cut that was part of a deal to avoid going off the so-called "fiscal cliff."
The agreement, though, only delayed across-the-board spending cuts until Friday. McCarty said they would put a crimp in Florida's economy and likely further depressed consumer confidence in March.
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