The Tampa metro area is a star among Florida communities when it comes to a handful of economic measures.
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater was a clear standout in population growth, life science employment, tourism spending and apartment completions, according to a new report from Wells Fargo Securities.
Overall, Florida’s economy has battled back from the depths of its deepest downturn since the Great Depression and resumed its position as one of the nation’s fastest-growing economies, Mark Vitner, senior economist, wrote the Florida economic outlook for May.
Florida’s growth model now is “building up and playing off of the state’s unique competitive advantages” and taking advantage of inherent strengths in financial services, health care, logistics and aerospace, he wrote.
Here’s a look at the metrics in which the Tampa metro performed well:
Population growth has ramped back up, as job seekers flock to Florida’s stronger employment markets and retirees move south. “Among Florida’s largest metropolitan areas, Orlando and Tampa-St. Petersburg were the clear standouts this past year. Population gains in Florida’s largest metro areas tend to be more driven by employment conditions rather than retiree inflows.”
Life science is a notable bright spot. Florida’s life sciences industry employs 63,000 workers across the state. The Tampa metro area has the second-highest number of life science workers, more than 10,000.
Tourism spending, as measured by sales tax receipts, rose 8.8 percent in 2015, with the bulk of the increase coming from Orlando, Miami and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.
The housing market statewide has slowly and steadily improved since the it went bust in 2006-2007, but home sales have slowed in recent months, the report said. Apartment construction, however, has been “robust,” across Florida’s major markets. The report said there were 426 apartment units completed in the Tampa metro in Q1 2016.
Construction of apartments and condominiums will remain close to its recent pace for the rest of the year, Vitner said, but starts of new high-end condominiums will likely pull back a bit, as buyers from Russia and Latin America put off purchases due to economic uncertainties in those economies as well as the stronger value of the dollar relative to their currencies.
The complete report is here.
Margie Manning is Finance Editor of the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She covers the Money beat. Original Article