Make us your home page
Instagram

Florida on pace to swell to $1 trillion economy, says UCF forecast

A rising population, job growth and housing demand all are pushing Florida toward becoming a $1 trillion economy within a couple years, a new report says. This photo from March shows early construction for One St. Petersburg, a 41-story, 253-unit condo tower in downtown St. Petersburg.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]


A rising population, job growth and housing demand all are pushing Florida toward becoming a $1 trillion economy within a couple years, a new report says. This photo from March shows early construction for One St. Petersburg, a 41-story, 253-unit condo tower in downtown St. Petersburg. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

Florida's economy will continue to outpace the rest of the country for the next four years, pushing the state toward a $1 trillion economy by 2018, according to the latest economic forecast from the University of Central Florida.

In his second-quarter forecast, UCF economist Sean Snaith said the Sunshine State is enjoying rising job growth and home construction. The mix of aging baby boomers and a healthier jobs market in Florida "bodes well for continued population growth via the in-migration of workers and retirees," he said.

His analysis projects Florida's economy will expand at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent from 2016 to 2019, outpacing the national average. That means Florida's gross state product, or economic output, would cross the $1 trillion threshold in 2018 and climb to $1.074 trillion in 2019. Based on current World Bank rankings, Snaith said, that would make Florida's economy the 16th largest in the world.

Already, Florida has enjoyed a healthy housing recovery. Median home prices have jumped from a low of $122,200 during the housing crisis to $213,000. A shrinking inventory of homes on the market is encouraging builders.

But Snaith discounted fears that another housing crisis may be brewing. "While this looks like another housing bubble, it's really just an old-fashioned shortage in the single-family market," he said, predicting any housing shortage will correct itself as housing starts pick up in the next few years.

For Tampa Bay, the buzzword is building. The UCF economist predicts construction and mining will be the fastest-growing sector, with an annual average growth rate of 5.2 percent. Second would be professional and business services, growing at 4.5 percent a year. He forecasts that wages will grow by 3.7 percent annually, on average.

Snaith drafted his report before Thursday's surprise vote in Britain to pull out of the European Union.

On Tuesday, Snaith said he may temper expectations for Florida somewhat after Britain's exit, but he still sees the state on the path toward a $1 trillion economy. In the long-term, the scope of a global slowdown or a recession depends on whether other European countries follow Britain's lead; in the short term, the biggest impact on Florida will be on tourism, he said.

"Everything is 10 percent more expensive now for visitors from the UK to Florida, so that will change some behavior," he said.

Contact Jeff Harrington at jharrington@tampabay.com. Follow @JeffMHarrington.

WASHINGTON

U.S. consumer confidence rises

U.S. consumer confidence rose this month to the highest level since October. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 98 in June from 92.4 in May, snapping a two-month losing streak. The survey measures how consumers assess current conditions as well as their outlook for the next six months. Americans' view of current conditions was the most positive since September. Their expectations for the future also grew sunnier, as did their outlook for the strength of the job market. The survey was conducted before Britain voted on Thursday to leave the European Union in a move that has shaken global financial markets.

Associated Press

Florida on pace to swell to $1 trillion economy, says UCF forecast 06/28/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 7:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  2. Miami woman, 74, admits to voter fraud. Does jail await, or will she go free?

    State Roundup

    MIAMI — An 74-year-old woman pleaded guilty Monday to filling out other people's mail-in ballots while working at Miami-Dade's elections department.

    Gladys Coego
  3. Bigger ships carry Georgia ports to record cargo volumes

    Economic Development

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Bigger ships arriving through an expanded Panama Canal pushed cargo volumes at Georgia's seaports to record levels in fiscal 2017, the Georgia Ports Authority announced Monday.

    The Port of Savannah moved a record 3.85 million container units in fiscal 2017, the state said, benefiting from the larger ships that can now pass through an expanded Panama Canal.
  4. Dragon ride in Harry Potter section of Universal closing for new themed ride

    Florida

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019 — sending wizard fans into a guessing game with hopes for a Floo Powder Network or the maze from the Triwizard Tournament.

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019. The ride, originally the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, was renamed and incorporated into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when the hugely popular area opened in 2010.
  5. Would you let your company implant a chip in you?

    Working Life

    Would you ask an employee to get a chip implanted in her hand? Sounds invasive and intrusive. But come Aug. 1, one company in Wisconsin will be giving it a try.

    Three Square Market - a developer of software used in vending machines - is offering all of its employees the option to get a microchip implanted between the thumb and forefinger. [Photo from video]