Bonita Springs News


Date ArticleType
9/24/2014 General

September 2014 Southwest Florida Regional Economic Indicator Report

September 2014 Southwest Florida Regional Economic Indicator Report

It is my pleasure to provide you the September 2014 Southwest Florida Regional Economic Indicator Report.  This report is provided by the Regional Economic Research Institute of the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University.  Included in this month’s introduction is the updated national economic forecast released by the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee on September 17, 2014.

The Southwest Florida and the U.S. economies continue to show moderate growth.  As reported last month, the revised second quarter national real GDP estimate for growth was 4.2 percent.  The increase was primarily driven by increased personal consumption expenditures, private inventory investment, exports, state and local government spending, and investment.

Regionally, seasonally-adjusted taxable sales were up 12 percent ($195.8 million) in June 2014 over June 2013.  Seasonally-adjusted July 2014 total tourist tax revenues for the three coastal counties increased by 17 percent over July 2013.  July 2014 passenger activity for the three Southwest Florida airports grew by eight percent over July 2013.  However, single-family home sales for the three coastal counties showed a slight dip in August 2014 compared to August 2013. 

While unemployment rates have slowly decreased since the recovery began in 2010, the seasonally-adjusted rate for the five-county region edged up to 6.3 percent in August 2014 from 6.2 percent in July.  Florida’s unemployment rate also rose to 6.3 percent from 6.2 percent, while the national unemployment rate dipped to 6.1 percent in August 2014 from 6.2 percent in the previous month.

The August Bureau of Labor Statistics Establishment Survey showed that national nonfarm payroll employment increased by only 142,000 for the month, lower than the revised increase of 212,000 in July.   The August employment increases included 47,000 in professional and business services, 20,000 in construction, 15,000 in leisure and hospitality, 8,000 in government, 8,000 in other services, 7,000 in financial activities, 6,500 in wholesale trade, and 1,200 in transportation and warehousing.  Employment declined 8,400 in retail trade and 3,000 in information (media).

The national consumer price index increased by 1.7 percent from August 2013 to August 2014.  The shelter index (rental equivalence measure for homeowner costs) has risen 2.9 percent over the last 12 months.  Medical care services increased 1.9 percent, and energy prices increased 0.4 percent.  Core inflation (all items less food and energy) increased by 1.7 percent.   The national housing prices increased 8.1 percent for the 20-city composite S & P Case-Shiller Home Price Index in the 12 months ending June 2014.



Gary Jackson

Gary L. Jackson, Ph.D.
Director, Regional Economic Research Institute
Lutgert College of Business
Florida Gulf Coast University
(239) 590-7319