"Its strong performance is particularly noteworthy given the severity of the Great Recession in Florida, and the considerable adversity the state has faced from devastating hurricanes, citrus greening, constant trade uncertainty and slower global economic growth," says Wells Fargo Senior Economist Mark Vitner.
"We expect economic growth to moderate this year, as the national economy slows," he adds. "Florida is poised to remain one of the nation's fastest-growing states, however, and growth remains remarkably broad-based across industries and geographies."
Florida average hourly wages have increased 2.8% over the year, construction has remained steady, and the housing market has returned to form.
"While moving in the right direction, home sales weakened late last year when mortgage rates spiked," Vitner says. "With sales moderating, homes are sitting on the market slightly longer, which is giving buyers a little more bargaining power. As a result, home prices have cooled, rising 4.6% year-over-year in March, which stands in contrast to the 6.2% rate hit this time last year. Price appreciation has moderated in both higher-priced markets, like Naples and Sarasota, and lower-priced areas, like The Villages, Ocala and Cape Coral."