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Regional Economic Research Institute

The Regional Economic Research Institute (RERI) was developed to perform economic research, analysis, and forecasting for both the region and the individual economic development organizations in this area. The structure of the RERI includes partnership with the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council and the area economic development organizations.

The director of RERI is Dr. Gary Jackson, Assistant Professor of Economics in the Lutgert College of Business.


February 27, 2015: First Quarter Lee County Business Climate Survey - Report issued
View the report

July 25, 2014: Barriers to Small Business Growth - Report issued
View the report

October 2013: Four Reports from the Workforce Now Regional Research Initiative Now Available
View the Reports

Beginning with the first quarter of 2012, RERI has issuined the Lee County Business Climate Survey Report. This quarterly report is a result of a partnership between The Horizon Council and Florida Gulf Coast University. The Horizon Council is a public-private board established in 1991 to advise the Lee County Board of Commissioners on economic development issues.

The Report summarizes the results of the Executive Business Climate Survey. It provides a view of the local economy, based on responses from senior executives of companies from a broad range of industries across the county.

In addition to this quarterly report, RERI continues to issue a monthly report: Regional Economic Indicators, which analyzes a wide range of economic data from the 5-county region of Southwest Florida. It also includes National economic data of interest. The monthly Indicators report has been issued since early 2007.

Documents most recently issued by the Institute:
(For earlier documents, see the Archive page)

Our Quarterly Report
Lee County Business Climate Survey Report, First Quarter 2015 pdf (33 pages)

Our Monthly Report:
Regional Economic Indicators, February 2015. pdf (24 pages)

Dr. Jackson's comments at the release of the report on February 27, 2015:

It is my pleasure to provide you the February 2015 Southwest Florida Regional Economic Indicator Report. This report is provided by the Regional Economic Research Institute of the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University.

The Horizon Council FGCU Quarterly Business Climate Survey Report was released today and is available at www.leecountybusiness.com/business/publications. The Lee County Business Climate index increased from 69 to 72 showing that the business executives expect growth over the next year to be close to the moderate level. This is also consistent with improved consumer sentiment indices as well.

The fourth quarter U.S. real GDP estimate for growth was revised downward to 2.2 percent. The third quarter real GDP grew more rapidly at 5.0 percent, faster than the second quarter growth rate of 4.6 percent. U.S. real average weekly earnings increased by 1.9 percent from December 2013 to December 2014 and the January Bureau of Labor Statistics Establishment Survey showed that national nonfarm payroll employment increased by 257,000 for the month, lower than the revised increase of 329,000 in December. National housing prices increased 4.5 percent for the 20-city composite S & P Case-Shiller Home Price Index in the 12 months ending December 2014.

The regional economy continues to improve. Seasonally-adjusted regional taxable sales for November 2014 were up nine percent ($157.2 million) over November 2013. Seasonally-adjusted December 2014 total tourist tax revenues for the three coastal counties increased by 21 percent over December 2013. Passenger activity for the three Southwest Florida airports grew by four percent from December 2013 to December 2014.

The Regional Economic Research Institute in cooperation with The Lutgert College of Business, and Christensen Financial are hosting a Market Outlook 2015 Conference on April 3, 2015 on the campus of FGCU. The speakers include David Altig, Director of Research and Executive VP of the Atlanta Federal Reserve, Douglas Duncan, Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, and Gary Jackson, Director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at FGCU. Conference information is available at www.mbaswf.org.

The most recently published study:

Barriers to Small Business Growth
July 25, 2014 pdf (44 pages)
The purpose of this survey is to better understand the factors that are limiting small business growth in the greater Lee County area. This survey provides insights about key concerns and issues facing small businesses.

Many additional documents that can be reviewed and downloaded are available on the Reports and Studies page.

Links to our partner organizations are available on the Links pagae.

To request more information, see the Contact Us page.


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