Data Indicates Florida Will Become 16th Largest Economy

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University of Central Florida (UCF) Economist Sean Snaith predicts that Florida’s gross state product will break the $1 trillion mark next year – and then climb to $1.074 trillion in 2019.

That gross state product level would in turn make the Florida economy the 16th largest economy in the world, as ranked by the World Bank.

Snaith expects the gross state product to expand at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent through 2019 and outpace the projected average for the United States’ gross domestic product for the same period. Driving the economy will be job growth and home construction, Snaith said in his second quarter Florida & Metro Forecast.

“The fundamental underpinnings of the housing market in Florida continue to strengthen. Job growth in Florida is forecasted to continue outperforming the U.S. labor market and more baby boomers continue to reach the end of their working lives,” says Snaith, the director for the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the UCF College of Business Administration. “This bodes well for continued population growth via the in-migration of workers and retirees.”

Snaith notes that Florida faces a growing single-family-housing shortage because of the shrinking inventory of existing homes and a pace of new construction in the residential real estate market that is not keeping up with growth, which is rapidly pushing prices up in the single-family market of some metro areas across the state.

“While this looks like another housing bubble, it’s really just an old-fashioned shortage in the single-family market,” Snaith says. “It is expected to correct itself as new housing starts ramp up over the next few years.”

A total of 771 single-family permits were issued by the three coastal counties during May 2017, representing an increase of 106 permits during April 2017 and 118 more than the number issued during May 2016. Lee County issued 408 permits in May 2017; an increase of 80 from May 2016 and 55 more than April 2017. Following six months of negative trends in single-family building permits, Collier County observed a positive trend and issued 268 permits in May 2017, compared to 250 in May 2016 and 242 in April 2017. Charlotte County issued 95 building permits for May 2017; an increase of 20 permits over May 2016 and 25 more than the total issued for April 2017. Hendry County issued 23 single-family permits from January through May 2017, compared to 21 permits issued from January through May 2016.