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New UCF Economic Report Is 'Optimistic' for Florida Growth

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University of Central Florida

It's a mostly sunny economic forecast for Florida for the next three years, boosted by a strong housing market recovery. That's according to a quarterly report released Tuesday by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Economic Competitiveness.

The institute’s three-year financial forecast says more homes are being built and sold, and housing prices are going up. UCF economist Sean Snaith points out that’s good news even for homeowners who aren’t planning to sell. 

"Rising prices helps to restore that equity, helps to lift more homeowners from being underwater in their mortgage," says Snaith. 

Snaith also expects Florida’s job growth to be steady, but he says uncertainty brought on by the delay of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate could be a continuing drag on the labor market. 

"You don’t know what health care premiums are going to be, then you really don’t know what the real cost of labor is, and without that knowledge, I think many businesses are hesitant to hire," Snaith says.

Overall, Snaith calls the three-year outlook for Florida’s economy "optimistic."