The regional economy in Southwest Florida continues to show signs of great growth moving into the second half of 2018. Regional economic indicators report great positive signs after the second quarter of 2018, showing great growth and promise for the remainder of the year. These positive signs include an 11-percent increase in airport passenger activity from March 2017 to March 2018, a 30-percent increase in single-family building permits from April 2017 to April 2018, and a 16-percent increase in tourist tax revenues for March 2018 over March 2017.
Southwest Florida uses a seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate. This rate declined to 3.7 percent in April 2018, which is a marked improvement of 0.7 percentage points from the April 2017 figure. The region’s unemployment rate was again lower than the 3.9 percent figures published by both the state of Florida and the nation for April 2018.
April 2018 single-family home sales for the three coastal counties (Charlotte, Lee, and Collier) increased by 16 percent from the previous year, as well as an additional 7 percent from March 2018. Median home prices in these three counties also showed increases over April 2017.
Taxable sales for the five-county region totaled $2.262 billion in February 2018, which is an increase of 7 percent from the February 2017 figure.
The Florida Consumer Sentiment Index increased in May 2018, improving 2.6 points to 100.6. This marks the second time since March 2002 that the index has been above 100; the last time was January of this year.
This report shows great promise for the Southwest Florida area, especially since Hurricane Irma struck our shores last year. With hurricane season just beginning 3 days ago and the summer season officially beginning as of Memorial Day, this shows that although 2018 is halfway done, we have only just begun to truly evaluate the potential growth of our area. This is an exciting time to live in and move to Southwest Florida.