The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council estimates the Tampa Bay region, and Florida as a whole, will have a more pronounced economic fallout related to the COVID-19 pandemic than other parts of the country.
The group, a coalition of government leaders throughout the Tampa Bay region, found that while Florida’s per capita coronavirus cases are fewer than in other states, the state is more vulnerable to impacts because of its economy’s heavy reliance on tourism and hospitality and sales tax collection.
The group’s study assumed a 10% contraction to the U.S. economy with a continuing increase in the state’s mortality rate, finding that under those conditions, about 218,000 Tampa Bay area jobs would be lost — 10.6% of the area’s employment base of 2 million.
Those losses would be felt as a result of reduced economic activity at hotels, restaurants and retail businesses.
The study also estimates an 11.7% reduction in regional GDP, the equivalent of nearly $21 billion from the pre-coronavirus expected GDP of $179 billion.
Further, personal income is expected to drop 10.6%, or $19.9 billion, from the previous personal income projections of $187 billion in the region.
Spending among foreign travelers, a major economic driver in the region, is expected to drop 20%.
The study cites three main drivers, including economic losses due to COVID-19 deaths, drops in consumer spending and a national recession, all of which will affect the Florida economy now and into the future.
The deaths are factored into the study because it removes consumer spending from the economy that otherwise might not have been lost. Those losses, tragic without an economic impact, also reduce demand for goods and service, affecting the state’s supply chain.
The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council study estimates that a higher mortality rate in the region or state could have effects lasting up to a decade.
The group created its analysis to help leaders assess risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It used data from the World Health Organization, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and the Brookings Institution using a macroeconomic model.
“The Regional Planning Council is pleased to present this report to Tampa Bay area leaders as a resource for recovery planning,” said Sean Sullivan, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. “We know that smart decisions can only be made based on quality information, and we see our role as being one of the providers for such information.”
The group plans to release an update in June.