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Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index increased 0.2 points in July to a level of 114.8.

Comerica Bank's Florida Index Improves

September 27, 2018
By Robert A. Dye, Ph.D., Daniel Sanabria

Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index increased 0.2 points in July to a level of 114.8. July’s index reading is 16 points, or 17 percent, above the index cyclical low of 98.5. The index averaged 113.1 in 2017, 1.4 points above the average for all of 2016. June’s index reading was 114.6.

The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index ticked up again in July after seeing similar gains in June. In July, six index components were positive. They were nonfarm payrolls, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, house prices, industrial electricity demand, and sales tax revenue. Hotel occupancy and enplanements were negatives in July. Total state trade was unchanged for the month. The Florida economy continues to gain momentum following an early 2018 stall. Job growth accelerated from June to August, with the state’s real estate, manufacturing and accommodations industries all improving through late summer. Uncertainty surrounding foreign demand and global trade are risk factors that will remain through the end of 2018. Emerging markets, particularly in Latin America, are seeing increased economic volatility this year. Trade negotiations between the U.S. and Canada are still unresolved despite deadlines pushed by the Trump Administration. Also, trade tensions continue to rise with China as new tariffs were put into effect on September 24. Buffering the international risks to the Florida economy are the tailwinds from a strong U.S. economy. U.S. business and consumer confidence measures are at cyclical highs, if not, all-time highs. This will support ongoing domestic travel into Florida as well as corporate and household relocations.

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