Comerica Bank’s Florida Economic Activity Index gained in March, growing 3.5 percentage points to a level of 133.2. March’s index reading is 55 points, or 71 percent, above the index cyclical low of 78.0. The index averaged 118.0 in 2014, eight and four-fifths points above the average for all of 2013. February’s index reading was 129.7.
“Economic activity is accelerating in Florida, as shown by the strong increase in our Florida Economic Activity Index in March. Most index components were positive for the month, including nonfarm payroll employment. Florida is once again showing strong mid-cycle economic growth, accompanied by tightening residential and commercial property markets,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. “Potential headwinds for the state economy are the strong U.S. dollar and rising interest rates. A strong dollar makes it more expensive for foreign tourists to vacation in Florida and for foreign investors to buy property in Florida. A strengthening dollar in a rising interest rate environment will reduce the affordability of real estate for foreign buyers.”
For a PDF version of the Florida Economic Activity Index click here: FloridaIndex_0515.