Florida’s future: tourism thriving, population booming, state coffers fattening, but…

by | Jul 25, 2023

  • Florida’s economy is booming with expected peak general revenue of $46.3 billion in fiscal year 2023, but it’s projected to flatten at $45.3 billion in 2024 due to housing market and automotive sales slowdowns, partly caused by higher fuel costs.
  • Net-migration is predicted to increase, with an average of 814 people per day over the next five years, and a projected net in-migration of 350,000 people in FY23.
  • Tourism is thriving in the state, with a record 142.4 million visitors expected in FY23, but international travel remains below pre-pandemic levels, having a limited impact on Florida’s economy since 98% of visitors are domestic travelers.

(The Center Square) – The Economic Estimating Conference met on Saturday to discuss Florida’s booming economy, and some of the shortfalls that could happen in the future.

Florida has had a huge amount of growth, and its general revenue is expected to peak at $46.3 billion in fiscal year 2023, then flatten in 2024 to $45.3 billion.

The drop in revenue for 2024 is credited to a slow down in the housing market and automotive sales. Car and light truck sales are projected to be slightly lower than previous years, thanks to the increase in fuel costs.

Net-migration is predicted to increase by an average of 814 people per day over the next five years, with FY23 projected to have a net in-migration of 350,000 people.

Tourism continues to boom for the Sunshine State, as conference data shows that Florida had 133.7 million visitors in FY22. Around 142.4 million visitors are expected in FY23, with tourism projected to break previous pre-pandemic records by at least 11%.

International travel remains at half of what it was prior to the pandemic, despite travel restrictions now being relaxed or removed, while international visitor numbers are expected to lag until 2033. However, because 98% of visitors to Florida are domestic travelers, the drop in international travelers is expected to have only a small impact on the economy.

The unemployment rate in Florida in June, for the second consecutive month, is 2.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis. The leisure and hospitality industry, which took one of the largest hits to employment during the pandemic, has now recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

While supply chains have begun to recover, and household financial assets are predicted to be slightly better in the first year of the forecast, future predictions note that gas prices, and bank interest rates are going to remain high.

Construction costs are projected to increase, with building materials increasing in price by 100% in some instances since the pandemic. While net-migration is driving up demand for single-family homes in Florida, this is expected to drop as homeowners wait for prices and supply chain issues to improve.

Real estate values increased significantly during the pandemic, but are expected to ease off temporarily by at least 10%, before increasing again at a more moderate rate. The increase in property values also drove up tax revenues by 35% overall.


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