Advertisement
  1. Business

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]

Published Jun. 28, 2016

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.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. A beer is pictured in the outdoor games area of Park & Rec on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The Towers of Channelside condo association has filed a lawsuit against the bar, as residents complain about noise.
  2. Yacht StarShip, a dining and water taxi company, has added the Lost Pearl pirate ship to its fleet just in time for Gasparilla. [Yacht StarShip]
    After years entertaining tourists in Virginia Beach, the Lost Pearl is settling into its new Tampa Bay home.
  3. Bank OZK CEO and chairman George Gleason, left, and managing director Greg Newman are photographed at the OZK Wynwood branch in Miami on November 13, 2019. [CARL JUSTE | Miami Herald] [Carlt Juste | Miami Herald]
    In fact, Bank OZK has emerged as a powerhouse in commercial lending generally.
  4. Flooding from an October king tide in Miami Shores fills streets, sidewalks and driveways at its peak. [Miami Herald]
    And it could lose up to 35 percent of its value by 2050, according to a new report.
  5. Delta Air Lines said Friday it will launch five new round-trip routes a day between Tampa and Miami starting May 4. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) [MARK LENNIHAN  |  AP]
    Delta says the daily nonstop Miami service will create new connections for Tampa travelers to fly to Latin America and other international destinations.
  6. The Undercroft — the new home to a branch office of TheIncLab, an artificial intelligence firm — provides work space for several cybersecurity companies in one of Ybor City’s most historic structures, the El Pasaje building on E Ninth Avenue. RICHARD DANIELSON | Times [Richard Danielson]
    The Washington, D.C.-area company expects hiring 15 developers and engineers in the next twelve months and partnering with bay area universities to augment its staff with student interns.
  7. FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2019, file photo Amazon packages move along a conveyor prior to Amazon robots transporting packages from workers to chutes that are organized by zip code, at an Amazon warehouse facility in Goodyear, Ariz. Cashless shopping is convenient, but it can be a budget-buster. This year, make it more difficult to spend money online. This could help cut out some of your impulse purchases. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File) [ROSS D. FRANKLIN  |  AP]
    Here are some tips to avoid wasting money when you shop.
  8. Lori Baggett, managing partner of Carlton Fields in Tampa. [Carlton Fields]
    The Carlton Fields firm announced her promotion earlier this month.
  9. A new Publix in the Channell district located on the corner of E Twiggs Street and N Meridian Avenue in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times] ["OCTAVIO JONES   |   TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Meanwhile in Tampa, the Westshore store could open soon.
  10. The Sears at University Mall near the University of South Florida in Tampa is in the process of being torn down to make way for a new mixed-use development project. [RD Management]
    This is what developers plan for the old Sears stores at University Mall and Citrus Park.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement