Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Business

Report: Tampa Bay is second worst among financially distressed metros

Tampa Bay persists as one of the most financially distressed major metros in the country, ranking second only to Orlando in an analysis released today by credit-counseling agency CredAbility.

The usual suspects of high unemployment, a struggling housing market and lower net worth are partly to blame.

But the latest quarterly index singles out one area where Tampa Bay places dead last among the top 30 metros: We're lousy savers.

Tampa's savings rate of 2.02 percent was far shy of the national average of 3.8 percent and even further from what Cred­Ability deems as a healthy savings rate of 7 percent.

If they're not saving, however, at least more consumers appear to be putting their money to good use. An earlier report from credit bureau Equifax found Tampa Bay consumers were paying down their debt at a faster pace than most of the country in the third quarter.

Household budget is one of five categories crunched by Cred­Ability in its index. In other areas, Tampa Bay ranked:

• fourth most distressed in employment (with the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, up from 8.7 percent in the previous quarter).

• fourth worst in housing (a slight improvement with mortgage delinquencies falling slightly).

• sixth worst in credit scores.

• fourth worst in net worth.

Tampa Bay was one of 17 metros scoring low enough in the index to indicate households are under distress. The bay area dipped slightly from its third-worst overall ranking last time, but other cities — namely Chicago, Las Vegas, Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh — suffered bigger drops in financial strength.

Households in Washington, D.C., Minneapolis-St. Paul and Boston remain the strongest.

Comments
Career Q&A: What to do when your boss is stealing

Career Q&A: What to do when your boss is stealing

Q: I strongly suspect that my boss is stealing from our employer. As the property manager for this apartment complex, she handles all payments, deposits and other financial matters.A few weeks ago, I accidentally discovered some suspicious discrepanc...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pinellas is at the center of a rise in Florida flu outbreaks

Pinellas is at the center of a rise in Florida flu outbreaks

Feeling a little sniffly or scratchy or stuffed up? It may be the flu, and you donít want to wait around to see a doctor this year. This is not the time to write off flu-like symptoms, Tampa Bay area health officials and doctors warn. The influenza v...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Italian Butterfingers? Nestle selling candy business for $2.9B

Italian Butterfingers? Nestle selling candy business for $2.9B

Associated PressNEW YORK ó Swiss food and drink giant Nestle is selling its U.S. candy business to Italyís Ferrero for about $2.9 billion in cash. Ferrero will take over iconic chocolate brands Butterfinger and Crunch bars, as well as the sugary Nerd...
Updated: 7 hours ago
23 seek vacant PSC post

23 seek vacant PSC post

There is another Mariano seeking a job in Tallahassee.Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, the father of state Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, is seeking an appointment to the Florida Public Service Commission, the powerful board regulating Florida ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

ST. PETERSBURG — Still more apartments are coming to St. Petersburg, this time to the Edge and Grand Central Districts just west of downtown. The new projects, all by out-of-state developers and more moderately priced than those downtown, will...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

When it comes to regulating insurance, Florida is slowly improving. The Sunshine State raised its grade from a C in 2016 to a B in 2017 on the "R Street 2017 Insurance Regulation Report Card." It ranked No. 15 among all states.The annual report, writ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

US travel industry launches plan to reverse tourism decline

Associated PressNEW YORK ó Travel industry representatives sounded an alarm Tuesday over declines in international tourism to the U.S. and announced plans to reverse the trend. Organizers of the new Visit U.S. Coalition portrayed the decline as long-...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Raymond James advice for small to mid-sized companies about activist shareholders? Prepare and listen

Raymond James advice for small to mid-sized companies about activist shareholders? Prepare and listen

Shareholder fights between activist investors and publicly traded companies are getting nastier, especially in some industries, and a lot of them donít involve corporate giants like General Motors and Procter & Gamble.In 2015, according to Raymond Ja...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Dow bursts through 26,000 in record seven trading days

Dow bursts through 26,000 in record seven trading days

The Dow Jones industrial average blew past 26,000 Tuesday for the first time ever, coming only a week after hitting 25,000 and showing further evidence that the long-running bull market is alive and well."There are several reasons for markets to melt...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Times StaffAFI Mortgage, a subsidiary of an Arizona-based bank, is opening its first Florida locations in St. Petersburg and Lakeland. Its parent company, AmeriFirst Financial Inc., specializes in mortgages. "This Florida team is innovative, knowledg...
Published: 01/16/18