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Florida among states with highest levels of "consumer distress"

The economic recession has had a great deal of effects on consumers in Florida. It has left many individuals facing financial struggles, such as problems with debt and mortgages. Dealing with such struggles can have major impacts on an individual's life.

A recent report indicates that consumers in Florida have continued to face a great deal of financial struggles this year. The report regarded a measurement called the Consumer Distress Index (CDI) score. This score is aimed at showing the amount of financial stress consumers in a geographic area faced in a given time period. The score is based on five different factors: employment, credit, household budgets, net-worth and housing. The score is on a scale of 100, with lower scores indicating a higher level of financial stress. Reportedly, scores below 70 indicate that a state is experiencing financial distress.

According to the recent report, Florida had a CDI score of 63.55 for the first quarter of 2011, putting it well beyond the distress mark. Reportedly, Florida's CDI score was also lower than the national score and was the fourth worst score among states.

However, there was one silver lining in the report, and that was that Florida's CDI score showed improvement from the same time period last year and was the highest it has been since the end of 2008.

Thus, this report appears to indicate a couple of things. First, it shows that consumers in Florida continue to face many financial difficulties. However, the report may also indicate that there is hope that Florida's financial condition is starting to improve. It will be interesting to see if Florida's CDI score will continue to rise as the year progresses and if Florida consumers do in fact begin to start experiencing less financial stress than they have in the past couple of years.

Source: The Orlando Sentinel, "Florida still ranks poorly on consumer distress index," Richard Burnett, 19 May 2011

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