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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.


December 30, 2016: January 2017 Regional Economic Indicators Report issued
View the report release

December 16, 2016: Fourth Quarter Industry Diversification Report issued
View the report

November 16, 2016: Fourth Quarter Lee County Business Climate Survey - Report issued
View the report

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, January 2017. pdf (22 pages)
The report was released by RERI on December 30, 2016. Comments at the release of the report:

Here are some key findings:

Key findings

Notes and Asides:

  • The latest issue of the RERI's Industry Diversification Report was published in December. Findings in the report included the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island MSA ranking as the most diverse MSA in the state of Florida. Visit the Industry Diversification Project website for more information.
  • The Milken Institute recently released their annual Best Performing Cities report for 2016. Among 200 large cities, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers MSA was ranked as the 15th best performing city in the nation, while the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island MSA was ranked 17th. Furthermore, among 201 small cities, the Punta Gorda MSA was ranked 83rd in the nation.
  • The RERI is soliciting sponsorships for the forthcoming Economic Almanac of Southwest Florida. Contact Monique Carlone at moniquecarlone7@gmail.com for more information.

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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