Rick Harper

University of West Florida

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.

University of West Florida

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.”

University of West Florida

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.

University of West Florida

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.

University of West Florida

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.

University of West Florida

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.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses more signs of a strengthening economy on a national level.

UWF

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a report that shows the nation’s economy shrank in the first quarter of 2014, the first downturn since early 2011.

The government initially said first quarter GDP grew at a 0.1% annual rate. That figure was revised downward to -0.1%.

University of West Florida

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. 

Uiniversity of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the work to be done to come up with a budget agreement during the final week of the 2014 Florida Legislative Session.

Unlike the federal government, the state must have a balanced budget. According to Harper, one indicator of a healthier state economy since the Recession is that Florida no longer has to dip into its reserves to pay the state’s debt service. “We’re now back down to the level where the state is actively contributing to reserves,” he says.

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