Budget experts: Economic slowdown still in Florida’s future as 2020 Session nears
Amy Baker (File photo by Colin Hackley)

For now, high tourism numbers and personal income is buoying the state economy.

Florida still appears to be prepared for an economic slowdown in the coming years as state budget experts made their final predictions ahead of the 2020 Legislative Session.

At a September panel, the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) projected the lasting effects from recent hurricane seasons, and a global slowdown would hamper economic growth in Florida. But in the short term, the state’s economy has performed about as EDR and its coordinator, Amy Baker, expected.

“For where we are at this point in time, we’re remarkably steady,” Baker said. “There were a few things that are performing a little bit better and a few things that are performing slightly more weakly, but all together, it’s probably a very similar forecast to what we had in the summer.”

EDR members met Monday to report their long- and short-term projections for the state economy, the final such meeting before the 2020 Session convenes in less than a month. These forecasts, in part, stemmed from the national outlook discussed in an EDR meeting last week.

“I think where you come out today is that the economy still has some more room to run, which is what we were banking on in the summer, and that’s holding up. But as we move into the summer of 2020 and ’21, we’ll see some slowing,” Baker said.

Last month, Baker outlined that her office’s question became not if, but how soon and how much would the slowdown hit Florida.

For now, tourism continues to buoy the economy as gas and travel prices are down while nationwide earnings are up. But domestic tourism, which makes up the lion’s share of the state’s visits, is expected to recede in a year.

The number of domestic tourists in the 2018-2019 fiscal year grew 8% instead of the predicted 6.6%. However, the next fiscal year’s growth estimates from EDR have fallen to 2.5% from the 4.4% growth as they thought in July.

And construction expenditures look like they will take a hit a quarter or two earlier than previously thought. Total expenditures may actually decrease in the current fiscal year rather than continue growth from last year, according to EDR.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

One comment

  • Bill Wallace

    December 17, 2019 at 8:13 am

    Sounds like an eighth grader wrote this article.

Comments are closed.


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