In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the meeting of state economists this week in Tallahassee. Florida has an office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) that reports on the economy to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House.
“EDR every year has to produce the state economic outlook. And, one of the most important reasons to do that is because the governor as we head into autumn is going to be evaluating various proposals for state programs or tax relief and has to know the health of the economy,” says Harper.
In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the benefits of the Back-to-School Tax Free Holiday that’s taking place this weekend (Aug 1-3), in Florida and Alabama. This is the second of three sales tax holidays in Florida this year.
The Hurricane Tax Free Holiday was held May 31-June 8. In September, there will be a sales tax holiday on the purchase of energy efficient appliances.
In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projecting economic growth for 2014.
“It’s down somewhat...and a little disappointing” says Harper, noting IMF’s world GDP growth forecast of 3.4 percent for the remainder of the year. That's a little better than the 3.2% the world economy managed in 2013. However, their April forecast had been 3.6%. “So it’s a slight slowdown and we’re seeing that in a couple of different countries.”
In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper reflects on Blue Angels weekend on Pensacola Beach. ‘Red, White and Blues Week’ follows the Fourth of July holiday weekend, which provides a critical boost to the local tourism industry over a stretch of about a week-and-a-half.
In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the importance of the month of July to Northwest Florida’s tourism industry.
“In our climate zone, July is far and away the biggest month. It’s the month in which hoteliers and restaurateurs are able to charge top dollar, keep the place full. That’s when they pack away the profits they’ll need to make their lease or mortgage payments throughout the rest of the year,” says Harper, who adds that there are indications that it’s a good July this year.
In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest first quarter revision of the gross domestic product (GDP). According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP shows a 2.9% drop in the annual rate in January through March, the weakest quarter for the U.S. economy since the Great Recession.
In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper begins with the latest from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.
On Wednesday, Yellen announced that the Fed will continue its current monetary policy, cutting its monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion per month and keeping its key federal funds rate near zero. Further, she told a news conference that inflation was expected to move gradually back to the central bank's 2 percent target.
In this week's Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the recent flood event and the expected high cost of repairing the damage to roads, infrastructure and other government and private property, likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars in each case.
The unexpectedly large volume of rainfall, up to 27 inches in some areas, brought floodwaters to some areas that had never flooded before. That means many homeowners will be forced to foot the bill for repairs themselves.