Make us your home page
Instagram

Wells Fargo: Florida economy to grow slowly, but still outperform national average

Florida's economy is on track to grow faster than the rest of the country through next year, its population is rebounding and the state will add a combined 64,000 jobs next year on top of 40,000 jobs this year.

But even if those predictions from Wells Fargo economists hold true, don't hold your breath for Florida to climb back to its pre-Great Recession heyday anytime soon.

Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner said he's increasingly confident we've escaped a double-dip recession this year, but he's likewise confident we've entered a post-Cold War era of "incredibly sluggish" economic recoveries.

"There's a good chance you don't recover (before) you go into the next recession … even if it's five or six years down the road," Vitner said in a conference call Monday discussing the bank's latest Florida forecast.

Economists define a recession as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The country technically exited the recession in mid 2009 but slow growth since then hasn't been enough to cut into high unemployment.

The good news for Florida, Vitner said, is its recovery has broadened. Beyond the leisure/hospitality and health industries, the state is now adding jobs in retail, trade, and professional and business services. Over the past year, Tampa Bay has morphed from one of the biggest laggards among Florida metros to one of the state's biggest job generators.

The bad news, not surprisingly, is the still-troubled housing market.

Vitner forecast that home prices would fall another 5 percent to 8 percent in the Tampa Bay area before hitting bottom next year. "Home prices may retest their previous lows in Florida" from last December, he said.

At the same time that foreclosures continue to push down prices, the flow of foreign investors looking for housing bargains has dwindled. Europe's woes have curtailed the number of European house hunters while a weakened Canadian dollar means we're seeing fewer Canadian buyers. Even the pipeline of Latin America investors, particularly from Brazil, is slowing down.

Among other predictions:

• Florida's economy will grow by 2 percent this year and 2.2 percent in 2012, compared to about 1.5 percent average growth nationally. "The key reason for Florida outperforming (the country) is we fell harder so we have more room to recover," he said.

• Personal income will finally pick up, growing a projected 4.2 percent this year and 4.3 percent next year.

• Florida will gain a net 110,000 new residents this year and 130,000 next year.

• Home building won't reach a more normalized pace of adding 1.2 million new homes a year statewide until 2015.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at (727) 893-8242 or harrington@sptimes.com.

Wells Fargo: Florida economy to grow slowly, but still outperform national average 10/10/11 [Last modified: Monday, October 10, 2011 4:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cooking passion spurs owner to pull open AJ's Kitchen Drawer

    Business

    TAMPA — After graduating from the University of Tampa in May 2016, AJ Albrecht spent four months traveling around Southeast Asia and Australia.

    AJs Kitchen Drawer offers a wide variety of unique kitchenware items, such as handcrafted knives and wooden items, as well as local gourmet products. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  2. Charter school finds home in University Mall

    Business

    TAMPA — A new charter school recently opened in Hillsborough County for the 2017-2018 school year.

    Excelsior Prep, a new charter school, has found a home inside the University Mall. Photo courtesy of Excelsior Prep.
  3. Across Tampa Bay, local commercial banks and credit unions appear healthy

    Banking

    In another sign of economic vitality, Florida's home-grown banking industry demonstrated strong bench strength in the latest quarterly analysis by Bauer Financial. The vast majority of commercial banks with headquarters in Florida received five "stars" from Bauer, which is the highest ranking of health on its 0-to-5 …

    Several years ago, First Home Bank in Seminole faced regulators breathing down its neck for inaedquate controls and financial weakness. Under CEO 
Anthony N. Leo, the bank has rebounded. It received a top-rated "5" star rating from Bauer Financial in the latest quarter. Most area banks are doing better these days. [SCOTT KEELER      |     TIMES]
  4. Do you want Walmart in your home when you're not?

    Retail

    Delivery workers who drop off Walmart groceries may soon also bring them into your kitchen and unload them into your refrigerator, even if you're not home.

    Delivery workers who drop off Walmart groceries may soon also bring them into your kitchen and unload them into your refrigerator, even if you're not home.
[ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times file photo]

  5. Trumps travel ban to be replaced by restrictions tailored to certain countries

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, the New York Times reports, citing officials familiar with the plans.

    President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, officials familiar with the plans said Friday. The new restrictions, aimed at preventing security threats from entering the United States, could go into effect Sunday after the conclusion of a 90-day policy review undertaken as part of the administration's original travel ban. Though the restrictions would differ for each country, people living in the targeted nations could be prevented from traveling to the United States or could face increased scrutiny as they seek to obtain a visa. [Associated Press]