Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged in October at a level of 115.2. October’s index reading is 17 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. September’s index reading was 115.2.
The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index was unchanged in October following six consecutive monthly gains from April through September. The index components were mixed with five of nine coming up positive in October, while the other four were negative. The positive components were nonfarm payrolls, unemployment insurance claims (inverted), house prices, total state trade and total enplanements. The negative components were housing starts, industrial electricity demand, hotel occupancy, and sales tax revenue. Although hotel occupancy and total enplanements have both trended down in 2018, other indicators point to a good year for Florida tourism. According to a recent report from Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism partner, 95.8 million visitors were received through the first nine months of 2018, the highest number recorded in the state’s history for similar time periods. This represents a strong 6.7 percent increase over the same stretch in 2017. Lower prices at the gas pump and a strong dollar were supportive of domestic tourism this fall. The dollar was a headwind for international tourism in 2018. Most sectors of the state economy weathered the 2018 hurricane season in good shape. The housing market showed signs of improving through the fall as new listings for single-family homes increased.
For a PDF version of this report, click here: Comerica Bank's Florida Index Unchanged
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