UCF releases four-year Fla. economic forecast

ORLANDO, Fla. – July 23, 2014 – Between now and 2017, the University of Central Florida projects an annual economic expansion in the state of 3.7 percent and payroll job creation of 2.6 percent. The projection comes form its quarterly report, the July 2014 Florida Forecast.

Report highlights

  • As of May 2014, 41.7 percent of single-family home transactions were cash sales, down slightly from 46 percent one year earlier. It’s the fourth year that cash sales were at 40 percent or higher, suggesting that investors continue to play a role in Florida’s housing market.
  • Housing starts continue their ascent and will be more than double their 2013 levels by 2017. Total starts will be over 95,200 in 2014, just over 136,000 in 2015, 162,700 in 2016 and 166,200 in 2017. This growth in residential construction activity will catalyze growth in the commercial sector and “push employment growth in the construction sector into double-digits.
  • Real personal income growth for 2013 slowed to 1.8 percent. From 2014-2017 real personal income growth will accelerate steadily and average 4.2 percent, with 2014 growth at 2.8 percent, which will rise to 5 percent in 2017.
  • Low inventories and rising house prices have triggered a surge in home construction. Housing starts will average 31.3 percent growth during 2014-2017. The most rapid growth will be in 2014 and 2015 when starts will grow at an average rate of 51.6 percent.
  • Payroll job growth year-over-year should average 3 percent in 2014, 2.6 percent in 2015, 2.7 percent in 2016 and 2.3 percent in 2017. Bye the third quarter of 2015, payrolls should fully recover to their pre- recession highs.
  • Labor force growth in Florida will average 2.3 percent from 2014-2017. In the four previous years, it was just 0.9 percent.
  • The unemployment rate may not accurately show the increase in jobs as more unemployed Floridians reenter the labor pool. The pace of decline will slow dramatically and could reverse direction at times. Still, the unemployment rate is forecast to fall to 5.6 percent by the end of 2017.
  • Underemployment in Florida, a broader measure of labor market weakness than headline unemployment remains at 14.3 percent through the 1st quarter of 2014, down from 19.3 percent in 2010.
  • Sectors projected to have the strongest average job growth during 2014-2017: Construction (11.3 percent), Professional and Business Services (4.6 percent), Trade, Transportation & Utilities (4 percent), Education & Health Services (2.5 percent), and Leisure & Hospitality (2 percent).

The full UCF economic report is available online.