Industry Outlook 2005
Finance / Insurance
FINANCIAL SERVICES: Strong Numbers
"We're booming," reports Van Johnson, a DeLand mortgage broker and president of the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers. Property owners with hurricane damage are leveraging insurance and FEMA payouts to borrow more to renovate their property. The influx of cash, 77 million retiring Baby Boomers on the horizon, the state's crossroads economy and employers shifting retirement responsibility to employees all add up to 2005 looking strong for financial planners, mortgage bankers and brokers and others in financial services. Or, as Johnson says: "Things are popping."
2005 Forecast: "Assuming we don't experience any more extraordinary events, I would basically say the economy in 2005 will be relatively good, with 3% to 5% GDP growth. Florida will probably be at the high end or above the averages in the country. The investment climate will be pretty good. I expect it to be very similar to the year we just experienced," says Tom James, chairman and CEO of Raymond James Financial.