ORLANDO, Fla. – Empowered by a strong, post-recession job market recovery, continued salary growth and increased retail spending, Florida’s economy is expected to outperform the national forecast for four straight years, according to the latest projection from UCF economist Sean Snaith.

While the Florida labor market should maintain its lead over national statistics, the difference will become less pronounced as state job growth is expected to slow down by 2019.

“Our outlook for Florida is this outpacing will narrow as higher levels of job growth are expected nationally and Florida’s job growth decelerates somewhat,” Snaith said. “However, Florida will still outpace national job growth through 2021.”

In the latest Florida & Metro Forecast from the UCF Institute for Economic Competitiveness, Snaith predicts year-over-year job growth will average 2.5 percent in 2018, 2.4 percent in 2019, 1.6 percent in 2020 and 1.3 percent in 2021. As consistently strong payroll job creation has strengthened Florida’s labor market, the state is projected to outpace the national economy by 0.6 percentage points in overall job growth through 2021.

Changes in economic policy driven by the federal government should continue to benefit Florida’s economy over the next four years, Snaith said. The state economy, as measured by Real Gross State Product, will expand by 3.5 percent this year and 4.3 percent in 2019 before easing to 2.9 percent in 2020 and then 2.4 percent in 2021.

“Through 2019, growth will accelerate as the Trump administration’s economic policy helps to boost Florida’s economy,” Snaith said. “This faster economic growth will also generate a more rapidly growing labor force.”

Labor force growth in Florida will average 1.5 percent from 2018 to 2021, according to the forecast. The sectors expected to experience the strongest job growth are Construction (6.6 percent), Professional & Business Services (4.6 percent), Financial (2.1 percent), Leisure & Hospitality (1.4 percent), Education & Health Services (1.3 percent), and Trade, Transportation & Utilities (1.1 percent).

Single-family housing availability will remain in short supply, despite housing starts accelerating in the short term, Snaith said. Total starts are expected to hit 133,656 in 2018, 148,610 in 2019, 154,958 in 2020 and 156,376 in 2021.

“Low inventories of existing homes for sale and lagging housing starts growth contribute to an environment where home prices continue to rise at a rapid pace,” Snaith said. “The shortage will be resolved as the pace of single-family housing starts ramping up over the next several years.”

According to Snaith, retail sales will grow at an average pace of over 4.5 percent during 2018 to 2021, encouraged by a stronger national economy, continued stability in Florida’s labor market, larger paychecks, and increasing household wealth.

For the full forecast, visit: https://issuu.com/ucfbusiness/docs/ucf_flmetro_forecast-july2018-wp-se

Snaith is a renowned expert in economics, forecasting, market sizing and economic analysis who authors quarterly reports about the state of the economy. Bloomberg News has named Snaith as one of the country’s most accurate forecasters for his predictions about the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate, the Federal Funds rate.

The Institute for Economic Competitiveness strives to provide complete, accurate and timely national, state and regional forecasts and economic analyses. Through these analyses, the institute provides valuable resources to the public and private sectors for informed decision-making.

About UCF College of Business
Established in 1968, the UCF College of Business offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and executive levels. All programs, as well as the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting are accredited by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The college provides high-quality academic programs designed to give students a competitive advantage in the world of business now and in the future. The college promotes a unique culture of engagement, risk-taking, cross-disciplinary collaboration and data driven decision making in an effort to ensure students are well prepared to enter a dynamic marketplace. Learn more at business.ucf.edu.