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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. Christopher Westley, Professor of Economics in the Lutgert College of Business.


February 14, 2017: Presenting a wide range of social, economic, and demographic data for our region, the Regional Economic Research Institute released its first annual Southwest Florida Economic Almanac today.

View the Almanac

March 31, 2017: April 2017 Regional Economic Indicators Report issued
View the report release

March 8, 2017: First Quarter 2017 Industry Diversification Report issued
View the report

February 17, 2017: First Quarter Lee County Business Climate Survey - Report issued
View the report

February 7, 2017: Workforce Now 2016 Overview Study issued by RERI and other members of the Research Team
View the study   |   More about Workforce Now

Quarterly Reports

  • Industry Diversification Report
    Beginning with the first quarter of 2016, RERI has issued this report. It analyzes the RERI-designed FGCU Industry Diversification Index. The goal of the IDI is to measure industry diversification and, by extension, that of the workforce, in each of Florida's 24 workforce regions, the state of Florida, and the remaining 49 states.

  • Business Climate Survey Report
    Beginning with the first quarter of 2012, RERI has issuined this 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 these quarterly reports, 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 Reports

Our Monthly Report:

Regional Economic Indicators, April 2017. pdf (23 pages)
The report was released by RERI on March 31, 2017. Comments at the release of the report:

Here are some key findings:

Key findings

Notes and Asides:

  • Each of the three MSA's in Southwest Florida each ranked in the top 20 in population growth in the United States, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Lee County was ranked the fifth fastest-growing MSA by percentage during the 12-month period ending on June 30th, 2016, while Charlotte and Collier ranked 8th and 17th respectively.
  • RERI Director Christopher Westley spoke to the Suncoast Credit Union Managers in Fort Myers on March 8. On April 4, he will be speaking to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals in Naples. (Click here for more information regarding this event.)

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 page.

To request more information, see the Contact Us page.


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