NEW YORK – Oct. 11, 2011 – Wells Fargo released its Economic Outlook for Florida yesterday, and the news was positive, though not by much. The company says the state is recovering more quickly that the nation in general, but part of the reason is that the state fell so far during the crash.

Still, the recession officially ended in 2009 and Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner say the chance of a second recession is relatively low. However, he also thinks the recovery will be anything but robust, calling it “incredibly sluggish.”

For a housing recovery, jobs are key, and the report foresees a total of 40,000 new jobs added by the end of this year and an additional 64,000 in 2012.

Vitner says Florida’s recovery seems to have some legs as it expands beyond the tourism and health areas. The report points to an upswing of jobs, albeit small, in retail and trade, as well as professional and business jobs.

Wells Fargo report predictions

• Foreclosures will continue to impact home prices.

• The number of foreign investors could decline. European money problems have dampened demand from across the Atlantic, while a weaker Canadian dollar has impacted the value to Canadians. The flow of investors from the Americas has also declined.

• People will continue to move to Florida, though at a still-subdued pace: an expected 110,000 in 2011 and predicted 130,000 in 2012.

• The Florida economy will continue to grow. Wells Fargo predicts 2 percent in 2011 and 2.2 percent in 2012.

• Floridians’ personal income will also grow: 4.2 percent in 2011 and 4.3 percent in 2012.

• Home construction, while improving, won’t hit its full stride again – 1.2 million new homes – until 2015.

The full Wells Fargo report is available online.

Source: St. Petersburg Times, Jeff Harrington