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Consumer sentiment among Floridians rose another one-half point between December and January, up to 97.8, the highest reading since March 2002, according to data released on Tuesday by the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Of the five components that make up the Florida index, three increased and two decreased. Perceptions of one’s personal financial situation now, when compared with a year ago, rose 5.4 points, while opinions as to whether now is a good time to buy a big-ticket household item such as an appliance increased by 1.1 points. Expectations of personal finances a year from now also rose, by 2.5 points. Views on the future of the national economy are gloomier, however, according to the bureau. Expectations of America's economic condition over the next year dropped 3.3 points and anticipated U.S. economic conditions over the next five years decreased by 2.7 points.

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