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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.


June 17, 2016: Second Quarter Industry Diversification Report issued
View the report

May 11, 2016: Second 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, May 2016. pdf (22 pages)
The report was released by RERI on May 31, 2016. Comments at the release of the report:

Here are some key findings:

May 2016

Notes and Asides:

  • For more economic and demographic information on our region, see swfleda.com, a site maintained by the RERI for the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance.
  • Last week's news that Collier County was working to lure a major employer underscored efforts to develop a more diversified economy in Southwest Florida. To that end, the RERI published the Industry Diversification Project’s web site earlier this month. The Project studies workforce and industry diversity (or concentration), computes a Diversification Index, and produces a quarterly newsletter. Visit the newly-minted site at lutgert.fgcu.edu/idp.
  • Are presidential elections bad for the economy? The jury is still out, but one local economic indicator may lead one to think so. The Executive Business Climate Index fell for the second straight quarter to its lowest level since 2012, which was also a presidential election year. The Index was published in the Executive Business Climate Survey for the 2nd quarter of 2016.

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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