Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
U.S. retail sales braked sharply in April after strong gains in the prior two months, but that did little to change views the economy was poised for faster growth this quarter. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that seasonally adjusted retail sales rose just 0.1 percent last month, after surging 1.5 percent in March. More from Reuters and the AP.
Before the law took effect, experts warned that narrow networks could impact patient's access to care, especially in cheaper plans. But with insurance cards now in hand, consumers are finding their access limited across all price ranges. [Source: AP]
States that thus far have refused a federal offer to expand Medicaid are still seeing significant sign-ups for the safety-net program that serves the poor, according to a report Tuesday that raises political and budget implications. [Source: AP]
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday announced that more than $1.5 million in funding has been allocated to expand efforts to fight citrus greening in Florida, Texas and California. [Source: Orlando Business Journal]
Freshly minted college graduates, take note: Buying a new suit may be No. 1 on your list for landing that first big job, but new research shows picking the right job training program could give you the real winning edge. [Source: UF News]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Amazon hits construction milestones at Ruskin facility
Amazon has finished installing the exterior walls and roof of its distribution center under construction in Ruskin, two milestones along the way to completing the 1.1 million-square-foot facility, company officials said Tuesday.
› BBX Capital Corp. reports strong first quarter
BBX Capital Corp.'s investments in real estate and well-run companies are paying off. The Fort Lauderdale finance company, formerly known as BankAtlantic Bancorp, on Tuesday reported $1.3 million in net income from January through March.
› Florida expecting another strong year of avocados
Florida avocado grower-shippers are expecting another normal season with production similar to last year. Because the green-skinned fruit typically produces alternate-year bearing crops, growers rarely expect consecutive strong growing seasons.
› First quarter Southwest Florida tourism is red-hot
The numbers are in: Southwest Florida's tourism and hospitality industry had a sizzling first quarter. "Probably our greatest season on record," said Bruce Seigel, sales and marketing director for The Ritz-Carlton's Naples resorts.
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