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Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Shows Gains

October 31, 2017
By Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index increased again by 0.2 percent in August to a level of 113.6. August’s index reading is 15 points, or 15 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 111.6 in 2016,  one and nine-tenths points above the average for all of 2015. July’s index reading was 113.4. 

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index increased again in August. This marks an outstanding 94 consecutive months without a decline, emblematic of the state’s consistent strong economic expansion since the Great Recession. The last monthly dip in the Florida Index came in October 2009. This August, six out of nine sub-indexes were positive for the  month. They were nonfarm payrolls, house prices, total state trade, hotel occupancy, state sales tax revenues and enplanements. The three declining sub-indexes for August were unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts and industrial electricity demand. It looks like Hurricane Irma may break the winning streak for Florida. September payrolls dipped by a sizeable 127,400 jobs. Unemployment insurance claims increased and both residential and commercial construction projects were delayed. Nonetheless, we expect Florida economic data to show a re-accelerating state economy quickly. Hurricanes are usually positive economic events for Florida as dollars for rebuilding and repair circulate through the state economy. An exception to that rule may come if hurricanes discourage in-migration to the state. We do not expect that to happen as a result of Irma. Tampa-area house prices were up 6.8 percent in August over the previous 12 months, stronger appreciation than the U.S. average. Miami was below average at 4.9 percent, showing  some drag from the over-supplied condo market.

For a PDF version of this report click here: FL_Index_1017

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