Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida’s tourism industry remains on track for another record-breaking year, according to data released by the state’s tourism promotions entity. Visit Florida said that the Sunshine State hosted nearly 22 million visitors during the third quarter, an increase of 3.5 percent when compared with the same three-month period in 2011. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Florida retailers can expect a holly jolly shopping season with a sales increase of 5.2 percent over last year, the Florida Retail Federation said Thursday. "Shoppers in Florida are in a buying mood, and that's good news for the whole economy,'' said federation president and CEO Rick McAllister. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
This year’s crop of new real estate agents in Southwest Florida is younger and savvier about new technology – and they’re more serious about their work. That’s according to the annual survey of students by Larson Educational Services, one of the largest real estate schools in the area. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]
Echoing the talking points of Republican leaders in other states, incoming Senate President Don Gaetz and incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford sent a letter Thursday to the federal government saying that Florida will miss a Friday deadline to report whether the state will create its own health insurance exchange or allow the federal government to do it. More from the Times/Herald and the Palm Beach Post.
At a time when golf is waning in popularity and retiring baby boomers appear poised to take up other sports, builder Taylor Morrison plans to bet millions of dollars that a new golf course will draw home buyers to Manatee County. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Music promoter's dream to transform historic YMCA lives on
An anonymous "white knight" has stepped up with a $20,000 loan to give a hopeful music promoter 30 days to work on his dream of renovating the 85-year-old YMCA in downtown St. Petersburg.
› Cost of living goes up only 0.3% in South Florida
Thanks to a drop in food prices, the cost of living only rose 0.3 percent over two months in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers found energy prices was responsible for much of South Florida's increase in prices from August to October.
› Florida ready to let you vote on new license plate designs
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has designed four new license tags, with sleek, smooth surfaces, better readability, and seven characters instead of the traditional six. As for the plates' additional details, state officials want you to decide.
› Florida Legislative Leaders Call for Pension Reform
Florida's legislative leaders are calling for an overhaul of the state's pension system. State workers and retirees are now wondering what this will mean to their bottom line.
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