My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

Florida's Bottom Line: Outlook on 2016The beginning of a new year is an important time to reflect on what we have accomplished and what we want to achieve in the year ahead. Over the past year, Florida’s economy has seen profound growth in many areas and we’re entering 2016 well positioned to take advantage of these gains and continue to grow.

Looking back on 2015, we see that Florida’s economy is on the right track: private sector job growth increased and outpaced the nation; the housing market reached its post-recession high; our unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest levels in seven years; and more visitors have come to Florida this year than ever before. This economic momentum sets the stage for Florida to thrive throughout 2016.

The newest edition of Florida’s Bottom Line is focused on the opportunities that lie ahead in the coming year as well as highlights of the progress that we have made in the past year. Inside, you will find an economic forecast and expert analysis on Florida from a leading economist, insightful outlooks on key emerging trends as well as a look back on Florida’s economic achievements in 2015.

As we embark on this New Year, it is important to acknowledge that Florida’s economic future will continue to be shaped by the hard work and perseverance of Floridians. It is your dedication that not only allows us to build upon our accomplishments, but reach new heights of economic success and prosperity.

I wish you and your family a Happy New Year.

Sincerely,

Jeff
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida


News of Interest

Tampa Bay Times: Gov. Scott wants university presidents to meet with Cabinet

Miami Herald: Real estate will remain strong in 2016, report says

Sun-Sentinel: Florida construction firms to add jobs in 2016

Bloomberg Business: Service companies outpace factories, sustaining U.S. economy

Sun-Sentinel: Florida layoffs fell 65 percent in December

Miami Herald: Babson College’s women innovating Now Lab to launch in Miami

CNBC: Job creation surges in December

Stateline: Americans are moving south, west again

CNN Money: Why the U.S. economy could keep growing until 2020

The Florida Rundown - Improving State Contracts

Improving State ContractsThere are nearly 20 million people in Florida, each of whom deserves to know that their tax dollars are being spent efficiently. For that reason, CFO Atwater has concentrated on streamlining government to help keep more of your money in your pocket, where it belongs.

Transparency ensures accountability, and Floridians can see how money they send to their government is spent through state budgets, contracts, and more resources.

For years now, CFO Atwater has traveled across Florida to bring the news of our great state’s financial strength to those it affects most: Florida’s taxpayers. His belief is in a government by and for the people—people who deserve to know what their government is doing. The Florida Rundown is bringing you the highlights of the past year for the 14 divisions of the CFO's Department of Financial Services.

Florida Economic Briefs

National unemployment rate unchanged in December
In December, the unemployment rate held at 5.0 percent, unchanged from the previous month and down 0.6 percentage points from last year (5.6 percent). Florida’s unemployment rate for December will be released on January 22nd.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Small business optimism up slightly in December
Small business optimism grew last month according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business. Of the ten components that make up the index, six of them increased over the month, three decreased, and one remained unchanged.
Source: National Federation of Independent Business