First Quarter, 2017 ~ Sarasota's Local Economy Firing On All Cylinders
That was the headline in a recent Herald Tribune article, giving us a gauge on the economic barometer locally. As the economic recovery hits an eight-year mark in June, many had fears of a slight downturn but fears seemed to have eased with economic forecasters predicting a continuation of consumer confidence among Florida residents, which reached its highest level in 15 years just last month. And PNC Financial economist Mekael Teshome recently stated that the regional economy entered 2017 with "considerable strength. The regional economy will be firing on all cylinders, allowing it to outrun the U.S. economy. "
In recovery mode for the past several years, and one of the hardest hit during the recession, Sarasota's jobless rate averaged 4.6% in 2016, the lowest annual level in nine years and well off the high rates of 2009 and 2010, hovering at 11.5%. And housing, including single family and multi-family properties, has rebounded to pre-recession numbers generally speaking. Of particular note is downtown Sarasota, where new construction ~ completed, underway or planned ~ will bring 4,200 new apartments, condominiums and hotel rooms to Sarasota's downtown core.
As for the boom in local tourism, Teshome was quoted: "Continued jobs and income gains nationwide are boosting regional tourism, which is fueling a boom in hotel construction. The population is growing at a healthy pace as retirees around the country recover the wealth they lost during the recession and are able to sell their homes and move into the area. This strong pace of population growth fuels stronger demand for housing, health care, professional services and consumer spending on retail trade. Entrepreneurship is picking up, indicating that the regional economy is getting back to normal."