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Economic Trends: Florida annualized GDP hits $1 trillion

Florida’s economy trails only California, Texas and New York as the nation’s largest.

Florida is an economic powerhouse. In fact, the Sunshine State has one of the most powerful economies in the world.

According to the Florida Chamber Foundation, the state’s gross domestic product, or GDP, reached $1 trillion annually in mid-July.

While the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis says Florida accounts for 5 percent of the nation’s GDP, the chamber foundation says its $1 trillion economy makes the state a world competitor.

The foundation said if Florida was an independent nation, it would have the 17th largest economy in the world, ahead of countries including Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Argentina.

The only U.S. states with higher GDPs are California, Texas and New York, according to BEA data.

“Becoming a $1 trillion economy means Florida is continuing to grow and create jobs, keeping unemployment lower than the national average, and creating economic opportunity,”

Jerry Parrish

Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Jerry Parrish said in a story posted on the foundation website.

Florida’s economy grew by 2.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017 through the first quarter of 2018, according to the latest BEA data available. That’s better than the national GDP growth rate of 2.2 percent in that period.

BEA last week said its first estimate for the second-quarter GDP shows 4.1 percent growth nationally since the first quarter.

In Florida, the real estate industry is the biggest contributor to the economy, accounting for $165.6 billion of the overall $996.3 billion annualized GDP in the first quarter, BEA reported.

The next biggest private sector contributor to the state’s economy was health care, at $84.5 billion.

Government enterprises contributed $113.9 billion.

Florida’s share of the national GDP has been steady at 5 percent since the second half of 2015 but despite the state’s growth, its share of national GDP is slightly lower than it was before the recession a decade ago.

BEA data shows Florida’s share of GDP peaked at 5.5 percent at the end of 2006, before dropping during the recession. As the recovery took hold, Florida’s share of GDP bottomed out at 4.7 percent in 2012.

The BEA also calculates GDP for metropolitan areas, but there is a much bigger lag time.

The agency’s latest data for the Jacksonville metro area shows a GDP of $71.5 billion for 2016, up 5 percent from 2015.

Real estate also was the biggest contributor to Jacksonville’s economy at $9.7 billion in 2016, with government enterprises close behind at $9 billion.

 

Mark Basch Contributing Writer