Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index grew by 5.0 percentage points in May, to a level of 120.0. The May index reading is 39 points, or 49 percent, above the index cyclical low of 80.6. The index averaged 105 in 2012, 10 points above the average for all of 2011. April’s index reading was revised to 115.0.
“Our Florida Economic Activity Index is showing rapidly improving economic conditions in the Sunshine State in 2013, primarily as a result of strengthening residential real estate markets. The degree of improvement, however, needs to be scaled against the very severe consequences of the 2008-09 recession in Florida. Conditions are getting better, but from a weak base,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Residential construction permits jumped in April and May and that pushed our index up strongly. It is likely that permits will come back down to the underlying trend in the months ahead and that could pull our Florida Index back down. Looking past the volatility in the data, we can say that the economy of Florida is on an overall improving trend that is expected to continue through year end.”
For a PDF version of the Florida Economic Activity Index, click here: FloridaIndex_0713.