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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Florida residents might see a few more presents from their loved ones this holiday season, a new UF survey shows.

Barton Weitz, executive director of UF's Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research, said in a phone interview that even with all the financial woes facing Florida residents this year, retailers can expect a successful holiday season.

Based on a telephone survey of 525 state residents in September, Floridians estimate they will spend about ,1,325 this holiday season, according to a UF press release.

Weitz said the survey showed an obvious disparity in consumers' incomes compared with the results of last year.

"We do know there has been this general widening of the income gap between the haves and the have-nots that has been going on for quite awhile," he said in the press release.

Of those surveyed, 81 percent of consumers with household incomes of more than ,60,000 plan to spend the same or more than they did last year, according to the survey. In comparison, 42 percent of those with incomes under ,30,000 said they plan to spend less than last year, according to the study.

Weitz said he thinks the contrast between those of higher and lower incomes can be attributed to rising gas prices and Florida's bleak housing market.

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