Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index ticked up by 0.1 percent in November to a level of 115.3. November’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. October’s index reading was 115.2.
The Comerica Bank Florida Economic Activity Index saw a modest increase in November after going unchanged in October. Please note that both housing starts and total trade were estimated for the month of November. The U.S. Census has delayed the release of these data points due to the now-ended federal government shutdown. The Florida Index components were mixed in November. Four of the nine index components were positive. These were nonfarm employment, house prices, sales tax revenues and total enplanements. The other five components were negative for the month including unemployment insurance claims (inverted), housing starts, industrial electricity demand, total trade and hotel occupancy. Our Florida Index readings for October and November indicate slightly cooler activity for the state in Q4. Florida monthly unemployment insurance claims were elevated through December as the residual effects of Hurricane Michael persist. However, 2018Q4 job growth has been strong, averaging 21,000 net new jobs per month. The state’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.3 percent in December. Florida’s housing data was generally positive last fall. The inventory of Florida single-family homes for sale remained tight through yearend. Tight housing inventories will support further gains in area home prices and construction activity in early 2019.
For a PDF version of this report, click here: Comerica Bank’s Florida Index Little Changed
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