MINORITY GAINS -- Disposable income among Florida's African-Americans hit $52.7 billion last year, up 226% from 1990 compared with a 151% gain nationwide over the same period, according to a University of Georgia report. Among Florida Hispanics, buying power rose to $82.2 billion, up 313% from 1990. Florida's Asian buying power jumped to $12.2 billion from $2.4 billion in 1990.
MINORITY LENDING -- Ocala had the largest increase in home loans to African-Americans statewide in 2004-05, at 90.4%, according to a study of mortgage data. The study, conducted by GenWorth Financial, a mortgage insurance company, and ComplianceTech, a mortgage consulting firm, said the increase was concurrent with a rise in predatory loans in minority communities and minority borrowers moving to areas with more affordable housing. Other Florida cities with large increases in minority home loans include Lakeland, 87.9%, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, 76.6%, and Port St. Lucie-Fort Pierce, 53.7%.
TEAMING UP -- Florida State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Florida Institute of Technology have signed an agreement to work as a team on aerospace research and technology projects. The three are forming an institute to work with NASA, Space Florida and commercial aerospace companies, as well as other universities and partners.