Florida Chamber Foundation
Photo from Florida Chamber of Commerce

Florida’s economy remains strong but not without some risk if a recession hits the country. That’s the report from the Florida Chamber Foundation’s chief economist during Monday’s Economic Outlook and Jobs Summit. 

The Chamber equates the state’s economy to a stock and called Florida bullish. “If Florida was a stock, it would be considered a strong buy. But, while Florida’s economic outlook for 2019 is positive, it’s not without risks,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Florida’s leaders should remain focused on positioning Florida as a leader in global job creation, innovation and economic opportunity.”

The day-long summit in Orlando also featured two top figures in state government, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and the new head of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Ken Lawson. 

Some of the takeaways from the Chamber Foundation:

— Florida’s population is 21.4 million and continues to grow by 900 people a day.

— In 2018, Florida’s economy topped $1 trillion – making it the 17th largest economy in the world. 

— Florida is poised to create another 150,000 jobs in 2019. That projection is down from the Chamber’s 180,000 project last year. 

Despite those key indicators, decisions made in Washington, D.C. could cause disruption in that growth – namely trade wars and tariff expansions. That’s why the Chamber continues its call for a diversification of Florida’s economy. 

“When job creators see uncertainty in financial or international markets, they are less likely to invest,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist of the Florida Chamber Foundation. “To ensure Florida remains competitive, we must continue the momentum built since the last recession, and renew a focus on signaling to the world that Florida is open for business and ready for economic development investments.”

There has been some diversification. According to the Chamber the state has risen from 24th to 20th in the most diversified economies in the United States. 

The Chamber doesn’t just make recommendations, it has a blueprint for the state’s potential growth named Florida 2030. The plan provides key targets and strategies business, community, civic leaders and elected officials can use to secure Florida’s future in 2030 and beyond.

David Bishop is a native Floridian, husband and father. During his 30 year career, David has been a journalist, political operative and communications consultant.