Friday, September 16, 2011

Florida bouncing back, and recession not likely, report says

MIAMI – Sept. 16, 2011 – Florida’s improving economy should avoid recession, even as the recovery fights significant headwinds from a devastated real estate industry.

That’s the conclusion from the latest outlook for the Sunshine State by Wells Fargo, which sees South Florida and Tampa leading the rebound in hiring this year. Both markets have seen modest job growth in recent months, and payrolls are up about 1 percent in both regions during the last three months.

“Florida is slowly battling back from its worst recession in modern times,’’ the report reads. Wells Fargo expects economic growth to hit 2.2 percent next year in Florida, despite growing anxiety that the nation is heading for a second recession.

The Wells Fargo report credits a strong rebound in foreign tourism for Florida’s improving fortunes, with South Florida and Orlando enjoying outsized boosts from their popularity with travelers from Europe and Latin America.

Still, South Florida gets special mention in the report as a particularly troubled region. “South Florida’s recovery from the Great Recession has been painfully slow,” the report reads. Among the biggest problems Wells Fargo cites: nearly 40 percent of the region’s mortgages are either
in foreclosure or at least 90 days overdue, compared to the national average of 11 percent.

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