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Business Observer Friday, Jul. 13, 2018 2 years ago

Florida surpasses major economy milestone

If Florida was a country, it would be the No. 17 largest in the world.

Florida’s economy keeps on notching victories. The latest triumph: The state’s GDP surpassed $1 trillion — a new milestone.

To digest that figure another way, consider this: Florida’s economy is now the No. 17 largest in the world, ahead of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Argentina, according to a statement from the Florida Chamber Foundation. It’s reminiscent of a American Enterprise Institute report from 2016, when Florida’s GDP of $883 billion was about the same as Indonesia, which was at $859 billion.  The gap? Florida’s workforce, 9.3 million people, was a fraction of Indonesia’s 115 million employees.

Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Jerry Parrish, in the new chamber foundation report, says Florida adds $2.74 billion each day to the state’s GDP. “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,” says Parrish in the release.

The $1 trillion mark comes on the heels of a 2017 study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, which stated Florida held a 5% share of the U.S. GDP. That trumped Georgia, which posted a 2.8% share. Other Southern states, including Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, didn’t even combine to reach Florida’s 5% share, the report showed.  

Of course, GDP, while key, is only one economic indicator of a state’s overall economic health.

There remain some clouds in the Sunshine State’s economic landscape, according to the chamber foundation’s Florida 2030 research initiative. For one, 43% of third graders aren’t reading at or above grade level, the report states. And the state’s 14.8% poverty rate includes 21.3% of children under 18. “While Florida is better than most states in these areas,” states the report, “the Florida Chamber will continue to lead reforms that create economic opportunity.” 





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