Florida’s economy continues to improve with numbers that outshine the nation as a whole, a rise that University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith likens to that of the boy band One Direction.

Housing prices are up, payroll is up and real gross state product will continue to climb, Snaith says in his quarterly forecast for Florida’s economy through 2018.

Recounting a musically traumatic trip to a One Direction concert with his daughters, Snaith notes a similarity with Florida: The band was born of its members’ failed solo acts, and the Sunshine State’s current economy “rose from the rubble of the housing market and Great Recession.”

“Florida’s economy has indeed been heading in one direction since 2012: up. The economic recovery has produced billions of dollars of real GDP and personal income for the state,” Snaith writes in the forecast from UCF’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness. “As of late, the monthly jobs reports are like hit songs released each month in Tallahassee.”

Even so, the popular band has announced an upcoming hiatus, and Florida could face rough waters, too. Canada and Brazil, both a major source of international tourists for Florida, are having their own economic troubles. And China’s problems continue to reverberate.

Highlights of the forecast include:

  • The housing market continues to recover. The July 2015 year-over-year median sales price appreciation for foreclosures is 13.6 percent and traditional median sales prices are up 0.5 percent. Overall, median prices are up 8.1 percent in July year over year.
  • During 2015-2018, Florida’s economy, as measured by real gross state product (RGSP), is expected to expand at an average annual rate of 3 percent, and payroll job creation will average an annual pace of 2.2 percent. Both growth rates are stronger than our forecasted pace for the national economy.
  • Payroll job growth in Florida is robust and outpacing national job growth. Year-over-year growth should average 3.2 percent in 2015, 2.2 percent in 2016, 2 percent in 2017 and 1.5 percent in 2018. Payrolls finally recovered to their prerecession highs this May.
  • The unemployment rate should fall to 5.2 percent in 2016 and stay there through 2018.
  • Real gross state product will expand 3.3 percent in 2015; growth will be 3.1 percent in 2016 and 2.9 percent in 2017, before easing to 2.8 percent in 2018. Average growth will be 3 percent during 2015-2018, 0.5 percentage points faster than our forecast for average U.S. GDP growth over the same period.
  • 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 multiple national forecasting panels, including The Wall Street Journal Economic Forecasting Survey, CNNMoney.com’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.