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Experts predict strong economic recovery in Florida next year


Businesses and beaches in Miami Beach were empty in March after stay-at-home orders took effect, but a new report from the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting says, “If the Sunshine State can avoid more shutdowns, it will be on track to a fast recovery. ”

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Read this news in English in the Miami Herald.

The full economic cost of the coronavirus is beginning to show, but also to recovery, assuming the pandemic subsides.

According to a new report from the Institute for Economic Forecasting at Central Florida University, the state economy is expected to contract 6% in 2020, compared to the previous year, but should grow to 7.6% in 2021.

By comparison, the Conference Board, a nonprofit group of economists that declares recessions in the United States, forecasts a 4.9% contraction in the US economy in 2020 and a 2% recovery in 2021.

“If the Sunshine State can avoid further closures, it will be on the road to a rapid recovery while outpacing much of the nation in job and income growth,” the Institute said in a report.

That outlook means the state avoids further closures, which the report’s author and Institute director Sean Snaith estimates left more than a million Floridians out of work. Snaith added that it could take until 2023 for Florida to approach full employment; other reports have also set that year as the likely date when key components of the state’s economy will have fully recovered.

The Institute now forecasts annualized statewide unemployment rates of 8.2% for 2020, 5.5% for 2021 and 3.6% for 2022. At the forefront of the recovery in employment should be the hotel and tourism sector, which is expected to grow 31% in 2021 after contracting 8.6% in 2020. According to the STR travel data group, hotel occupancy across the state was 43.3% in June, well below the 74.2% in the same period last year. And real estate loan tracking group Trepp puts the percentage of hotel loans delinquent in 30 days or more at 23.4% through last month, the highest percentage on record.

Retail jobs in Florida are also projected to decline 10% in 2021 after a 6.1% decline in 2020. That forecast comes as numerous regional and national retail chains, including Stein Mart, Lord & Taylor, Brooks Brothers and JC Penney, have filed for bankruptcy amid the pandemic.

In the case of Miami-Dade, the recovery will be led by employment in the professional services sector, which is expected to grow an average of 3.7% in 2023, followed by education and health services with 2.9%. Manufacturing employment is forecast to decline 2.8%.

In an interview, Snaith noted that even a 31% recovery is not a return to normalcy.

“Percentage growth rates can distort things,” he said. “A growth rate of 25% or 30% looks great at face value, but when you look at employment levels, you see that that market is very depressed compared to February.

One sector that has managed to weather the pandemic is housing. Recent reports show new pending single-family home sales are up 23.2% in June compared to the same period last year, while condo and townhome sales are up 19.8%, according to Florida Realtors.

Translation by Oscar Díaz.