As the Florida governor’s race heads into its final days, the candidates are turning up the heat with television ads blaming each other for the state’s economic woes or taking credit for gains made.

But the governor, no matter who he or she is, can’t be held solely responsible for how the economy has done, said Sean Snaith, a University of Central Florida economist and director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness.

The governor’s position has insufficient power to counteract the headwinds of a national recession or to dictate the measures implemented by the Federal Reserve Bank, Snaith said.

“I have long asserted that politicians frequently get too much credit or too much blame for what happens in the economy during their time in office,” Snaith said today “A plethora of ingredients goes into the recipe and determines the outcomes in the state’s economy, and most of those ingredients, including some of the most important ones, are simply beyond the control of whomever occupies the governor’s office in Tallahassee.”

Snaith spends a lot of his fourth-quarter Florida economic forecast, which was released today explaining what factors do influence the economy and what the Sunshine State can expect through 2017.

For the full report click here.

Highlights include:

  • Payroll job growth year-over-year should average 2.9 percent in 2014, 2.3 percent in 2015, 2.1 percent in 2016, and 1.9 percent in 2017.
  • Labor-force growth in Florida will average 2.1 percent from this year to 2017.
  • The growing labor force and rising labor-force participation rate is improving. The combination should keep the unemployment rate around 6 percent by the end of 2017.
  • The sectors expected to have the strongest average job growth during 2014-2017 are construction (10.4 percent); trade, transportation and  utilities (3.8 percent); professional and business services (3.6 percent); education  health services (2.2 percent), and leisure  hospitality (2 percent).
  • Housing starts continue to rise but the pace of increases slows as interest rates rise. Total starts will be almost 84,000 in 2014, just more than 124,000 in 2015, hit 152,200 in 2016, and level off in 2017 at nearly 155,000.
  • From 2014  to 2017, real personal-income growth will accelerate steadily and average 4.1 percent, with 2014 growth at 3.1 percent, which will rise to 4.8 percent in 2017.
  • Retail sales will grow at an average pace of 4.5 percent during 2014-2017, growing state tax revenues in the process and providing lawmakers with greater options.
  • “Bottom line is Florida’s economy is improving and finally hitting its stride,” Snaith said. “And that’s great for all of Florida’s citizens, regardless of who they vote in on Nov. 4.”

    Snaith is a national expert in economics, forecasting, market sizing and economic analysis who authors quarterly reports about the state of the economy. Bloomberg News has named Snaith as one of the country’s most accurate forecasters for his predictions about the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate, the Federal Funds rate.

    Snaith also is a member of several national forecasting panels, including The Wall Street Journal Economic Forecasting Survey,’s survey of leading economists, the Associated Press Economy Survey, the National Association of Business Economics Quarterly Outlook Survey Panel, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Survey of Professional Forecasters, the Livingston Survey, Bloomberg U.S. Economic Indicator Survey, Reuters U.S. Economy Survey, and USA Today Economic Survey Panel.

    The Institute for Economic Competitiveness strives to provide complete, accurate and timely national, state and regional forecasts and economic analyses. Through these analyses, the institute provides valuable resources to the public and private sectors for informed decision-making.