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Tourism Marketing Backed After Hurricane, Red Tide

Oct 31, 2018

The state’s tourism-marketing arm wants to send a message to potential visitors: Hurricane damage and fish-killing red tide don’t cover all of the Sunshine State.

Updated at 4:39 p.m. ET

The economy expanded at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. That's slower than the second quarter's blockbuster 4.2 percent, but it puts the economy on pace for the fastest annual growth in 13 years.

Private analysts had estimated a 3.4 percent growth rate in gross domestic product for the third quarter.

Consumer spending jumped at a 4 percent rate in the July-September quarter — the fastest in about four years and topping the 3.8 percent in the prior three months.

Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET

Florida residents still trying to piece together their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael are missing one much needed tool: reliable cellphone service.

Amid reports of ongoing and widespread outages, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, is calling for an investigation of the problem. He is also calling for wireless carriers to waive October bills of Florida customers in areas hit by the hurricane.

Mike Kalasnik / Wikimedia Creative Commons

The Florida grocery chain Publix is expanding its headquarters and adding 700 new jobs over the next decade.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve announced another quarter-percentage-point increase in interest rates Wednesday as expected, citing a strong labor market and economy.

The Fed raised the benchmark borrowing rate to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent, the third hike this year.

Gambling in Florida is a perennial issue for politicians and the public. It will be on this fall’s ballot for voters in two forms. One proposed constitutional amendment would ban greyhound racing. The other question is much larger: should voters have the exclusive right to expand gambling? If approved by at least 60 percent of voters, it would take that power away from state lawmakers.

Tesla said on Tuesday it was complying with a Justice Department request for documents, in connection with Chief Executive Elon Musk's announcement that he was taking the publicly traded company private.

SeaWorld and two former executives on Tuesday agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle federal fraud claims that they misled investors about the negative impact the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" had on business.

Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Hours after President Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China responded with its own levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.

Chinese state television on Tuesday reported that the government has decided to impose tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, starting on Monday. The tariffs will apply to 5,207 items.

The City of Miami Beach is in a battle with the state that could impact hundreds of Florida municipalitiesIt’s about home rule and the city’s ability to set its own policy when it comes to wages.

Florida’s minimum wage is $8.25 an hour. The amount may go up each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

Miami Beach leaders voted two years ago to approve a higher minimum wage than the state.

Courtesy of Brian Butler / WUSF Public Media

Two small public relations firms from Tampa are being recognized for their success both locally and for their plans to expand nationwide
 

Florida Citrus Mutual

As a new citrus growing season gets underway, federal assistance tied to the hurricane-ravaged 2017-2018 harvest is finally moving into the application phase.

Bells toll at the abbey where Dom Perignon is buried in the French region of Champagne. The Benedictine monk is said to have discovered the method for turning wine into champagne here more than 300 years ago.

As far as the eye can see, neat rows of vines look as if they're stitched across the rolling hillsides.

The U.S. economy added 201,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department said on Friday, continuing its nearly eight-year streak of monthly gains. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at a very low 3.9 percent.

Southeastern Grocers CEO Anthony Hucker said Tuesday the Jacksonville-based supermarket chain will have remodeled almost 100 stores by year-end and will continue until all are refreshed.

Despite a strong economy, about 40 percent of American families struggled to meet at least one of their basic needs last year, including paying for food, health care, housing or utilities.

Florida's Debt Falls To $21 Billion

Aug 20, 2018

Florida is $21 billion in debt.

State leaders were actually happy to hear that number at the most recent Florida Cabinet meeting.

The amount of money owed on initiatives like transportation and environmental projects has fallen in recent years, bolstered in part by low interest rates and the economy.

Wikimedia Commons

Just as they prepare for a crucial harvest in the wake of Hurricane Irma, lobster fisherman in the Florida Keys fear a trade war with China could undermine storm recovery in the island chain.

Updated at 9:08 a.m. ET

The economy continued to add jobs at a steady pace last month, and the unemployment rate remained low. Analysts have been looking for signs that wage growth might pick up, but it held steady, too.

Payrolls grew by a lower-than-expected 157,000 in July, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, as projected, the Labor Department said Friday.

A basic tenet of economics is that when demand for something goes up, so does its cost. So, many economists wonder why today's high demand for workers hasn't translated into bigger increases in pay.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has called this a puzzle that defies a single or easy explanation. It isn't just, for example, that productivity has slowed, making it harder for businesses to justify paying more — though that is certainly a factor.

More Americans will be writing a check to the IRS in April because their employers are not withholding enough from their paychecks following the new tax law, the Government Accountability Office says in a new report.

With Florida’s back-to-school sales tax holiday now underway, some retailers may face an enthusiasm dip as laptops and other electronics are not on the discount menu.

Updated at 10:07 a.m. ET

The U.S. economy had a blockbuster second quarter, with growth surging to a 4.1 percent pace, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was nearly double the first quarter rate of 2.2 percent and the strongest pace in nearly four years.

President Trump has been steadfastly claiming that his policies will catapult the U.S. economy into a much higher rate of growth — 4 percent over the next few years.

President Trump is eager to tout a fast-growing economy, boosted by the tax cuts he pushed through Congress. That makes Friday morning's report on gross domestic product a highly anticipated news event.

Did GDP growth top 4 percent in the second quarter — more than double the first-quarter pace — as many economists project?

Forecasts are all over the board, with estimates even among Federal Reserve economists diverging widely.

The events of 10 years ago show why these forecasts are so important.

It's built for oversize cargo, but it also sports a smile: The Airbus BelugaXL took off on its first flight on Thursday, creating a unique sight as the jet with the bulbous upper half rolled down the runway.

The BelugaXL's paint job "features beluga whale-inspired eyes and an enthusiastic grin," the aircraft company says. That whale flew over southern France, soaring over the coast and mountainside.

Lawmakers Poised To Approve Citrus Farmer Money

Jul 19, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday urged the Joint Legislative Budget Commission to approve $340 million in federal block grant funding to help the state’s hurricane-ravaged citrus industry. 

It looks as though Florida’s reputation as a friendly place to retire remains secure.

Florida's Economy Reaches $1 Trillion

Jul 17, 2018

Florida’s economy has reached the $1 trillion gross domestic product milestone, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

“Becoming a $1 trillion economy means Florida is continuing to grow and create jobs, keeping unemployment lower than the national average, and creating economic opportunity,” Jerry Parrish, the foundation’s chief economist, said in a press release.

We haven’t heard much from Miguel Díaz-Canel since he became the new President of Cuba three months ago. But new regulations for private Cuban businesses came out Tuesday - and they may confirm fears that Díaz-Canel doesn’t wield much power.

Seminole County is the first US government agency to accept cryptocurrency as payment for county services. And according to a coinmap.org study, Tampa and Miami are ranked in the top 10 bitcoin-friendly cities in the world. With cryptocurrency usage growing,  Florida’s Chief Financial Officer plans to regulate the industry.

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