Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today.
Southerners have suffered the worst from the Great Recession
The South has suffered the steepest drops in median income than any other region in the country since the Great Recession hit, according to a new analysis by the Federal Reserve Board. Median before-tax family income fell nearly 10 percent in three years from 2007 to 2010 compared to the nationwide drop of 7.7 percent. Median income plummeted to $40,700 in the South in 2010 -- compared to $53,700 family median income in the Northeast, $46,500 in the Midwest and $48,800 in the West. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
» Federal reserve study
Before Marie Heiland opened her shop, she did not know olives need to be picked, crushed and pressed in a day's time. Or that vanilla ice cream drizzled with blood orange olive oil tastes like a Creamsicle.
But after four years of hard work and planning, the owner of the Naples Olive Oil Co. has found a niche.
Shops like Heiland's that sell one product or offer one service may be dwarfed by big box retailers and chain stores, but owners and operators of Southwest Florida's specialty stores have unparalleled expertise in their product and the opportunity to make their passions profitable.
State hires firm to analyze PIP changes
The Florida Legislature enacted sweeping changes to the state’s no-fault auto insurance law this year in hopes of reducing premiums. Now the state will pay private actuaries to determine whether it will work.
On Tuesday, the state Office of Insurance Regulation signed a $150,000 contract with Pinnacle Actuarial Resources to analyze the impact of changes to the law that requires drivers to buy personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. [Source: Health News Florida]
Pricier beer finds place in Southwest Florida
Craft beers are helping area businesses grow their sales.
Traditional beers in Southwest Florida still make up the largest part of the beer business, but while traditional beer sales are flat or showing marginal growth, craft beers are gaining sales.
“In the last 10 months, the craft beer world has really taken off here,” said Mike Duvall, a specialty brand manager with J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida.
[Source: Fort Myers News-Press]
Consumer study: Fliers less satisfied with airlines in 2012
Fliers were less satisfied with airlines in 2012, following two years of consecutive improvement, according to a national consumer study. On a 1,000-point scale, passenger satisfaction fell 2 points to an average of 681, the J.D. Power and Associates survey revealed Wednesday. The survey measured leisure and business travelers' satisfaction based on seven factors: cost and fees, in-flight services, boarding/deplaning/baggage, flight crew, aircraft, check-in and reservation. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Is the Miami mansion boom becoming a bubble?
Miami real-estate agents are hyping the market with a level of heavy-breathing not seen since 2006. Prices can only go up, they say. Sales of million-dollar condos in 2011 are up nearly 20 percent over the previous peak year of 2006. But a closer look suggests that the Miami boom is displaying some bubble-like tendencies.
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