South Florida’s Economic Time Machine – ETM

A hat tip to Mitch Baker (student in my A2 class) for this piece out of the Miami Herald. In order to look at the damage caused by the financial downturn and the extent to which the South Florida economy is recovery, the Miami Herald put together a Economic Time Machine – ETM. Time Machine combines dozens of economic dates into six main “gauges”

Click on one of the categories from the link below and it gives you a useful indication of how the South Florida economy was performing before and after the downturn.
Miami Herald Economic Time Machine

Within these categories they took approximately 60 monthly indicators – from hotel revenue to building permits to sales at supermarkets etc. The data was collected as far back as 1980. As with the CPI calculation each indicator was weighted with regard to its impact on the local economy.

How does the current economy compare to the economy before the recession? That is, how far did South Florida get set back? The Time Machine’s answer: all the way back to April 2002. The reading echoes a running theme in economic commentary that has the recession not only reversing economic growth, but also resetting the entire economy to a lower level or a “New Normal.’’

After a 2010 rebound in vacation spending, tourism landed near the early stages of its last boom: June 2005. Trade enjoys the strongest reading from the ETM: July 2008. That’s well past the start of the recession, and on the way to actual expansion — that is, clearing highs set during the boom years.

But busy ports and cargo handlers only take South Florida so far toward recovery. By the ETM’s calculation, it still has years to go.

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