Data from the Florida Department of Revenue indicates consumer spending in Leon County continues to rebound from the recession low of $6.3 billion experienced in 2009.
In 2007, before the recession officially began, consumer spending on goods and services in Leon County was $7.2 billion.
During the recession, sales of goods and services decreased by 12.5% or approximately $1 billion over 2008 and 2009.
The rebound began in 2010 with an annual growth rate of 1.9% followed by 2.4% in 2011 and 2.4% in 2012.
The Chart of the on page 6 shows annualized sales of goods and services in Leon County from September 2011 to August 2013.
The Chart shows the steady growth in consumer spending during this period, but also shows that in the last five months, April, 2013 to August 2013, spending has increased.
In fact, over the last five months, the annual growth rates have doubled from approximately 2.5% to 5.0%. These are the highest rates recorded since the recovery from the recession began in 2010.
At these spending rates, annual consumer spending could reach pre-recession levels in the next four or five months.
Consumer spending on goods and services in Leon County in 2007 was $7.2 billion. The annualized spending for August, 2013 was $7.0 billion.
Consistent Employment Still Elusive
The most recent employment data available for Leon County for August 2013 continues to reflect inconsistentency in the job market.
The chart shows that total employment declined from 139,356 in July 2013 to 138,884 in August, 2013.
Before this decline, total employment increased for three months in row from 136,848 to 139,356.
What is the employment outlook from a national perspective?
Bill Conerly, an economists for Forbes says “job growth should remain steady at a sluggish pace for a few more months, and then accelerate to a moderate growth rate, without ever being strong.”
He said the lack of the boom is due to some pronounced negatives. Government policy has led to great uncertainty among business leaders.
He also said, “the Affordable Care Act is a significant source of uncertainty, but the federal government is still writing the implementation rules for Dodd-Frank financial reform, while the federal regulatory system is throwing new rules out to implement old laws on environmental protection and labor standards.”
Updated employment data will be released on December 5, 2013. This will be the first release since the Federal government shutdown and will include two months of data.
Airport Passenger Traffic Trending Downward
After a significant increase in passenger traffic at the Tallahassee Regional Airport from 2011 to 2012, new data indicates that the upward trend that continued into 2013 is over.
The other chart shows the annualized passenger traffic for the last twelve months.
Passenger traffic continued to increase for the first five months of 2013. However, annualized passenger traffic began to decrease in June and has continued that trend through September.
The annual level of passenger traffic for September was 697,000. The annual passenger traffic for 2012 was 688,000.
If things do not change in the next few months, at the current rate of decrease, the final numbers for 2013 will come in at levels comparable to 2012.
Even with no growth in 2013, passenger levels have increased significantly from a recession low of 633,00 in 2011.