Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Consumers were stingy again in March
Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, has been lackluster for the past four months. The weakness played a big role in the first quarter when the economy expanded at a weak 0.5 percent rate, the slowest increase in two years. Read more at the AP and USA Today.
» April drop in Florida consumer sentiment: widespread concern over future
In Florida, consumer sentiment dropped in April amid pessimism about future conditions. While unfavorable views of the future were shared by all Floridians independent of their gender, age, and income level, the sharpest declines were seen among those 60 and older and those with income under $50,000. See more about Florida's consumer sentiment in this report from UF.
Sarasota company expands national presence
Progressive Employer Management Company (PEMCO), a payroll, human resources, workers’ compensation and employee benefits provider, has expanded its nationwide footprint with a new office in Texas. More from the Business Observer.
How did Publix win the battle with Walmart? And what new challengers do they face?
Publix Super Markets is king in Florida. They've survived the Goliath-like Walmart assault, crushed Sweetbay Supermarkets and have all but beaten down Winn-Dixie. But a new wave of specialty organic competitors are next to threaten Florida's home grown grocery store chain. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Insurance company now offers cyberbullying coverage
Anyone who has had embarrassing photos posted on social media or been deluged with angry messages can attest to the high emotional cost of cyber bullying. But there is also a cost in real dollars for some to clean up their online reputations, including legal fees, security measures and even counseling. More from Reuters.
Why more cities need to add up the economic value of trees
Your parents were wrong: money does grow on trees. Cities routinely rake up tens of millions of dollars from their urban forests annually in ways that are not always obvious. Across the nation this Arbor Day, city foresters should celebrate trees as economic drivers and get past the false dichotomy of economy versus environment.
Read more of this column from Jack Payne, Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, at the Conversation.
Finding gold behind a rap sheet
» More from WFSU.
Which came first? The designer brand, fresh-from-the-local-farm egg or the gourmet pizzas, burgers and salads topped with fried eggs? Who cares? The trend to both has made Florida plates runny with bright orange and turned menus sunny-side up with egg dishes from down-home and gastro to classic French and Italian.
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