TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 9, 2017) – The Florida Chamber Foundation, Florida's non-partisan, business-led, nonprofit research organization, announced today that it expects Florida to become a $1 trillion economy by the end of 2018 and will create 180,000 jobs across Florida in 2018 – once again outpacing the U.S. economy in job growth.

"If Florida was a stock, it would be considered a strong buy. But, while Florida's economic outlook for 2018 is positive, it's not without risks, some of which can be mitigated and some of which are larger than Florida," says Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

An outline of key findings announced at the Florida Chamber Foundation's 2018 Economic Outlook Summit:

1. Florida will continue to lead the nation in job creation. Since the recession, Florida has created an average of 1 in every 10 jobs in the U.S. Florida Chamber Foundation predictions estimate Florida will create 180,000 jobs in 2018. For the eighth year in a row, Florida's job creation is expected to outpace the U.S.

2. Very low probability of a recession. Currently, the Florida Leading Indicators Index projects strong growth is expected and there is a 91percent likelihood Florida will NOT enter into recession over the next nine months.

3. Florida is projected to become a $1 trillion economy in 2018. It's already larger than Saudi Arabia and preparing to overtake Mexico's spot in the global economy in the coming years.

4. Business confidence is high. Initial findings released at the Florida Chamber Foundation's 2018 Economic Outlook Summit from a statewide survey of Florida "C Suite" executives conducted for the Florida 2030 report show "very high" business confidence and a likelihood of continued investments over the coming months. (Full survey results will be released in March 2018.)

5. Population growth will continue to drive Florida's economy. Florida currently ranks as the 3rd most populous state in the nation and has been growing at a rate of more than 800 residents per day over the past year. This level of growth, at a minimum, is expected to continue through 2018. The influx of Puerto Rican evacuees that will choose to stay in Florida and the recently passed federal tax bill that favors low-tax states like Florida could mean an increase in skilled professionals and families moving from high tax states like New York and California.

6. Florida could do more. Florida's growth, while expected to remain positive, continues to have two potential constraining variables: a potential shortage of skilled labor, especially in construction, and an attainable housing shortfall.

7. Long term risks exist. While Florida's economy remains strong, long-term risks include global risk and uncertainty, losing consistent leadership at the state level and a rise in the cost of living and doing business, due to overregulation and Florida's bottom-ranked legal climate.

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