ORLANDO, Fla. – July 16, 2018 – Florida's gross domestic product topped $1 trillion Friday, an economic output that would make the Sunshine State the world's 17th largest economy if it were an independent country, the state chamber said.
The milestone has been expected. University of Central Florida economic analyst Sean Snaith said the state has been strong in all areas of employment.
"This is really being driven by fundamentals," he said. "This is not just a fluke of an overheated economy."
Florida's economy has grown larger than Saudi Arabia's, Switzerland's and Argentina's, the chamber said.
The economist who authored the study pointed to growth in manufacturing. "Those [jobs] are growing faster here than the U.S. the last few years, " said Jerry Parrish, Florida Chamber Foundation chief economist.
The $1 trillion figure was calculated based on the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis' most recent GDP number of $984 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, and a formula that projects current statistics that have yet to be factored in by the bureau, including job growth, goods, services and other factors.
Key factors driving the state's growth that can be seen in Metro Orlando's economy include low unemployment, population growth and tourism. The broad successes in those areas make the $1 trillion figure sustainable, Snaith said.
"The near-term risk of recession is still fairly low," Snaith said. "… Momentum in the labor market, the tax cuts and jobs act, all that has been a force of adrenalin, if you will, for economic growth. Could we drop below that? It's possible, but that would be temporary. This is a mile marker on a longer-run trend as opposed to being fleeting or cyclical."
Florida has been adding $2.7 billion to its GDP each day on average, the Chamber said in its release.
At the start of 2008, the state's GDP stood at $757 billion adjusted for inflation, according to BEA. It dropped to $715 billion by the third quarter of 2009 but has since risen steadily. The $1 trillion projection would represent a 39.86 percent increase.
The Chamber cited unemployment lower than the national average and other factors driving the growth.
"… Florida continues to break visitation records, and our state is continuing to diversify its economy," its release said.
© 2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Bill Zimmerman. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.