Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Tuesday's Afternoon Update

Florida consumer confidence zooms to five-year high

Floridians are feeling better about the economy now than at any other point since the onset of the Great Recession. Florida’s September consumer confidence reached a post-recession high of 79 -- up three points from a revised August reading of 76, according to a University of Florida survey. "The last time Florida consumer confidence hit 79 was in October 2007," said Chris McCarty, director of UF’s Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. More from UF and at the Tampa Bay Times.

Seniors facing double-digit hikes in most Medicare prescription drug plans

Seniors enrolled in seven of the 10 most popular Medicare prescription drug plans will be hit with double-digit premium hikes next year if they don't shop for a better deal, says Avalere Health, a private analysis firm. Avalere's report found premium increases for all top 10 prescription drug plans. However, the most popular plan -- AARP MedicareRx Preferred -- is only going up 57 cents per month nationally.

Political Polling Season
Obama - Romney tied in Florida?
From the Washington Post:
This morning, the Post released a new poll that shows President Obama running ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
From the Times/Herald:
Barack Obama, Mitt Romney are essentially tied in Florida, with 48 percent of likely Florida voters backing Obama, 47 percent supporting Romney, 1 percent with Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and just 4 percent undecided.

What do you think?
which of the candidates will win the state? Vote in Florida Trend's quick poll here.

The seven plans with double-digit premium increases were:

  • Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan (23 percent)
  • First Health Part D Premier (18 percent)
  • First Health Part D Value Plus (17 percent)
  • Cigna Medicare Rx Plan One (15 percent)
  • Express Scripts Medicare-Value (13 percent)
  • HealthSpring Prescription Drug Plan (12 percent)
  • Humana Enhanced (11 percent)

More from AP.

Search for Florida education chief extended

Citing a lack of qualified candidates, the Florida Board of Education on Tuesday extended its search for a new education commissioner by two months. "You've seen the list of names submitted," vice chairman Roberto Martinez of Coral Gables said after the board's four-minute morning conference call. "I don't see any names on that list that rise to the very high standard I am looking for." More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Scam: Palm Beach County homeowners told not to pay ‘Deed Processing Notices’

According to a statement sent to local homeowners by Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock, residents are urged to ignore any mailers marked “Deed Processing Notices” sent by Secured Document Services in Washington, D.C. More at the Palm Beach Post.

Lee County's "Guests First" initiative gets high nods

A Harvard think tank is saluting Lee County tourism’s continuing education in customer service. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government has named the Visitor & Convention Bureau’s “Guests First” program one of 111 innovative government initiatives. More at Fort Myers News-Press.

Music Review

Musical tribute to old Florida

PhotoThe Florida Orchestra has released a CD with works by Delius. In a new review, Tampa Bay Times' critic John Fleming gives it an A, saying:

"The Florida angle is what makes the Florida Orchestra's all-Delius CD so exquisite. Englishman Frederick Delius is the most important classical composer whose music has a meaningful connection to the state..." Full review is here.

The Florida Orchestra's website, with links to purchase this CD, is here.

Today's Afternoon Update was compiled by Joyce Edmondson