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.
November 22, 2013: Fourth Quarter Lee County Business Climate Survey Report issued
View the report
October 2013: Four Reports from the Workforce Now Regional Research Initiative Now Available
View the Reports
June 19 and 25, 2013: Forums were held with key stakeholders of the SWFL Regional Development Initiative (REDI)
View Documents from the Forums
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, Fourth Quarter 2013 (20 pages)
Our Monthly Report:
Regional Economic Indicators, November 2013. (26 pages)
Dr. Jackson's comments at the release of the report on November 29, 2013:
It is my pleasure to provide you with the November 2013 Southwest Florida Regional Economic Indicator Report released by the Regional Economic Research Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University. The economy continues to improve as Southwest Florida enters its peak winter season. The fourth quarter Horizon Council FGCU Business Climate Survey was completed in early November and the business Climate index improved from 69 in the third quarter to 71. This indicates that local business executives expect economic growth to be slightly less than a moderate pace. The complete report is available at www.fgcu.edu/cob/reri. Congress still faces a January deadline to agree on a new spending plan creating uncertainty.
Most of our other economic indicators are positive for Southwest Florida and the nation, and we continue to experience a moderate recovery. Taxable sales for the region improved by 11 percent in August 2013 compared to August 2012. The trend for single-family building permits continues to be positive with Lee County issuing 186 permits in October 2013 and Charlotte County issuing 43 permits. Collier County‚Äôs permit total was not available for October yet. Total sales of single-family homes in Lee, Collier, and Charlotte Counties in October 2013 increased eight percent over October 2012. However, total activity for the three Southwest Florida airports in September 2013 showed a three-percent decline from September 2012.
Regional employment data continued to show improvement with the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate declining from 8.4 percent in October 2012 to 6.5 percent in October 2013.
The national seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate edged up to 7.3 percent in October 2013 from 7.2 percent in September 2013.
Real GDP growth in the U.S. increased 2.8 percent for the third quarter of 2013, compared to 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013. Real personal consumption expenditure growth for the third quarter was only 1.5 percent, compared to 1.8 percent for the second quarter.
The October Bureau of Labor Statistics Establishment Survey showed that national nonfarm payroll employment increased by 204,000 for the month, higher than the revised increase of 163,000 in September but not high enough to significantly lower the national unemployment rate.
The national consumer price index increased by 1.0 percent from October 2012 to October 2013. Core inflation (all items less food and energy) increased by 1.7 percent and national housing prices increased 13.3 percent for the 20-city composite S & P Case-Shiller Home price index for the 12 months ending September 2013.
The most recently published study:
Three Major Employers in SW Florida: Identification of Critical Position / Skill Gaps
Many additional documents that can be reviewed and downloaded are available on the Reports and Studies page.
April 5, 2013 (96 pages)
Workforce Now is a regional research initiative to identify current and future talent requirements for the five counties of Southwest Florida. As part of this initiative, three major employers in Southwest Florida were interviewed to better understand their critical employment gaps and help identify skill sets needed for those positions. This report is a summary of the information gained from a survey and interviews of those employers.
Links to our partner organizations are available on the Links pagae.
To request more information, see the Contact Us page.