“‘Twas the forecast before Christmas, when all ‘cross the state, those in need of a fridge would just have to wait. Just like the fruitcake from your aunt — inflation, supply chain woes and housing shortages will all linger, unwanted, through the end of next year,’ writes Sean Snaith, nationally recognized economist and director of UCF’s Institute for Economic Forecasting, in his final forecast of the year. The institute releases quarterly U.S. and Florida economic forecasts authored by Snaith. Released Dec. 15, the Florida & Metro Forecast for Q4 includes economic analyses and projections for the state and 22 of its metro areas.

In this report, Snaith predicts that from 2021-2024:

  • Florida’s economy, as measured by Real Gross State Product, will expand at an average annual rate of 2.4%. After contracting by 2.8% in 2020, RGSP will rise by 5.1% in 2021.
  • Payroll job growth in Florida will continue to outpace national job growth as the labor market climbs out of a deep hole. The labor market will continue its rebound with average job growth that is 0.1 percentage points faster than the national economy.
  • Labor force growth in Florida will average 2.2% and strong payroll job creation will boost Florida’s labor market recovery.
  • The efforts to lower the state’s unemployment rate will continue and Florida’s accelerating job creation will help. The unemployment rate that jumped from 3.3% in 2019 to 7.9%in 2020 will fall to 5% in 2021 and 4.6% in 2022. It will continue to drop to 4.1% in 2023, and then ease to 4% in 2024.
  • Housing starts will pick up but not nearly fast enough to offset the large shortage of single-family housing in the short run. The total starts of 156,763 in 2020 will jump to 189,736 in 2021, then ease to 169,678 in 2022, 155,816 in 2023 and 149,360 in 2024. House price appreciation will decelerate over this period as supply catches up with strong demand and as affordability gets further out of reach for many.

Read the full report here.

For interviews with Snaith, contact Rachel Williams at rachel.williams@ucf.edu or 407-823-1044.