State of Florida Economy Is Among The 20 Largest In The World
Size of the Florida Economy
The State of Florida economy is large. Very large.
The State of Florida economy ranks among the four largest economies in the United States. The total value of goods and services produced in Florida (GSP) is forecast to be US$873 billion this year. The only US states with larger economies are California, Texas and New York. Florida’s economy has grown over US$130 billion in the past decade alone. The Florida economy has grown over 18% since 2006 when the state’s GSP was US$737 billion.
Florida’s economy also ranks among the twenty largest economies in the world. With annual GSP of US$873 billion, the Florida economy ranks as the world’s eighteenth largest economy between #17. The Netherlands (US$880 billion) and #19. Turkey (US$798 billion).
As such, Florida’s economy is even larger than developed countries like Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium and Norway. Compared to South American countries, Florida’s economy is larger than the economies of Colombia, Chile and Peru combined.
Diversity of the Florida Economy
The Florida economy is also very diverse. While many people only associate Florida with sandy beaches and Mickey Mouse, the state has a diverse economy ranging from agriculture and international trade to computer software and financial services. High-tech industries like life sciences, digital media and cybersecurity have also grown rapidly in Florida over the past decade. In fact, Florida now ranks 5th in the United States for high-tech employment growth.
Many US and international companies are drawn to Florida for the state’s world-class infrastructure, educated labor force of 9.7 million workers, wonderful weather year-round and a business-friendly tax environment. Florida is one of only 7 states that does not have a personal income tax. Florida’s economic diversity is reflected in the fact that 20% of the residents of Florida were born outside of the United States. Florida’s economic diversity is also visible in the fact that 5 million Florida workers, over half of the labor force, speak a foreign language.
Florida Infrastructure and Trade
World-class infrastructure is one of the most important reasons for the strength and global reach of the Florida economy. Florida has 19 airports with commercial flights, 3,000 miles of railroad tracks for freight transportation, and over 12,000 miles of highways.
Among Florida’s busiest airports, Orlando International Airport handles over 38 million passengers a year, Tampa International Airport handles 18 million passengers a year, and Miami International Airport handles 20 million passengers a year and 2 million tons of cargo.
Florida also has 15 deep water ports. As such, Florida is a perfect point of entry for merchandise that can be distributed rapidly throughout the United States. Similarly, Florida is well positioned for US exporters needing to expedite shipments to Latin America, Europe and beyond.
Not surprisingly, Florida has the 2nd largest foreign trade zone in the United States. Florida ports handle US$71 billion of imports each year and $81 billion of exports of which $60 billion are manufactured in Florida. The number one destination for Florida exports is Brazil with US$15.8 billion followed by Colombia, Chile and Venezuela. Florida port activities account for 550,000 jobs and $96 billion in economic value through cargo and cruise activities.
The expansion of the Panama Canal is expected to have a dramatic impact on the flow of merchandise through Florida ports. In preparation, PortMiami completed a US$2 billion port expansion and improvement project in 2014.
Florida Tourism Reaches 100 Million Visitors
In 1965, Walt Disney held a press conference in Orlando to announce plans for an amusement park that would forever change the course of Florida’s economy and history.
Today, the beaches, sunshine and myriad tourist attractions in Florida draw US and international visitors year-round. In fact, Florida welcomed over 100 million visitors for the first time in the state’s history.
Florida Consumer Confidence Rising
Florida consumer confidence is high, as more Florida residents feel optimistic about the strength of the state economy, the prospects for employment, and the benefits of the low tax environment including zero state income tax.
The Florida Consumer Sentiment Index reached 91.5 by November 2015 or 5 percentage points higher than the level of consumer confidence in November 2014. Florida consumer expectations for the US economy are also up for both next year and the next five years.
Patrick Archer is a Broker Associate with Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate in Florida.
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