FLORIDA ECONOMY TO OUTPACE NATION
Spurred by rising job growth and home construction, the state’s economy is expected to continue to grow at a faster pace than the national forecast for the next 4 years, according to the latest forecast from UCF economist Sean Snaith, director for the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the UCF College of Business Administration. “The fundamental underpinnings of the housing market in Florida continue to strengthen. Job growth in Florida is forecast to continue outperforming the U.S. labor market and more baby boomers continue to reach the end of their working lives,” wrote Snaith in the second-quarter Florida & Metro Forecast. “This bodes well for continued population growth via the in-migration of workers and retirees.” From 2016 to 2019, Florida’s economy, as measured by Real Gross State Product, is expected to expand at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent, outpacing the projected average for U.S. real Gross Domestic Product growth for the same period. Nominal Gross State Product is expected to break the $1 Trillion mark in 2018, according to the Florida & Metro Forecast, and climb to $1.074 Trillion in 2019. This would make Florida’s economy the 16th largest in the world, as ranked by the World Bank. The pace of Florida’s labor market recovery is expected to continue to exceed the recovery in the national job market through 2019. Labor-force growth will average 2% from now through 2019 thanks to constantly robust job creation. Payroll job growth in the state continues to outperform the nation with yea-over-year growth expected to average 3.9 percent in 2016, 2.4 percent in 2017, 1.1 percent in 2018 and 0.8 percent in 2019. The improved outlook should entice more Floridians to seek employment while also attracting out-of-state job seekers, Snaith said. In addition, it should lift consumer sentiment and consumption spending.