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.
August 22, 2014: Third Quarter Lee County Business Climate Survey - Report issued
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July 25, 2014: Barriers to Small Business Growth - Report issued
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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, Second Quarter 2014 (23 pages)
Our Monthly Report:
Regional Economic Indicators, October 2014. (24 pages)
Dr. Jackson's comments at the release of the report on October 28, 2014:
Dear SW Florida Economic Indicator Report Subscriber:
It is my pleasure to provide you the October 2014 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 Southwest Florida and the U.S. economies continue to show moderate growth although there is increased uncertainty with slower growth in Europe with the potential for deflation. In addition, China has slower growth and there is uncertainty about the potential impacts of Ebola. The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee is expected to continue to reduce (taper) the additional purchases of mortgage-backed and treasury securities as the U.S. economy improves. The second quarter national real GDP estimate for growth was revised upward to 4.6 percent from 4.2 percent.
There continues to be improvement in the regional economy along with the increases in seasonal activity. Regionally, seasonally-adjusted taxable sales were up 10 percent ($163.2 million) in July 2014 over July 2013. Seasonally-adjusted August 2014 total tourist tax revenues for the three coastal counties increased by 28 percent (more than $1.15 million) compared to August 2013. August 2014 passenger activity for the three Southwest Florida airports grew by eight percent over August 2013. Single-family home sales for the three coastal counties were up three percent in September 2014 compared to September 2013.
The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for the five-county region declined to 5.9 percent in September 2014. Floridaâ€™s unemployment rate also dipped to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in August 2014, while the national unemployment rate decreased to 5.9 percent in September 2014 from 6.1 percent in the previous month. The September Bureau of Labor Statistics Establishment Survey showed that national nonfarm payroll employment increased by 248,000 for the month, higher than the revised increase of 180,000 in August.
The national consumer price index increased by 1.7 percent from September 2013 to September 2014. The shelter index (rental equivalence measure for homeowner costs) has risen 3.0 percent over the last 12 months. Medical care services increased 1.7 percent, and energy prices decreased 0.6 percent. Core inflation (all items less food and energy) increased by 1.7 percent. The national housing prices increased 6.75 percent for the 20-city composite S & P Case-Shiller Home Price Index in the 12 months ending July 2014.
The most recently published study:
Barriers to Small Business Growth
Many additional documents that can be reviewed and downloaded are available on the Reports and Studies page.
July 25, 2014 (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.
Links to our partner organizations are available on the Links pagae.
To request more information, see the Contact Us page.