FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Friday's Daily Pulse

Consumer pullback slows state's economy

Florida's economy has slowed after surging earlier in the year. Led by double-digit percentage growth in Miami, sales statewide had expanded at a 9 percent pace through the first four months of the year — only to fall to 4 percent in May and June. "The economy has decelerated," said Sean Snaith, a University of Central Florida economist. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

» Jobs recovery is all over the map

RNC Roundup

A roundup of the final day and night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa:

» Mitt Romney's 'Secret Weapon' in Florida
» St. Petersburg taxpayers may be on the hook for RNC Trop party
» America deserves better, Romney says, pledging jobs
» Rubio revs up Republicans, Romney
» Behind the Scenes at ‘The Daily Show’ in Tampa
» Jeb Bush defends brother George during RNC speech
» Student pilot violates RNC airspace restrictions
» Florida delegates hear from GOP heavyweights

Florida Trend Exclusive
» Full Florida Trend Coverage of the RNC

Gov. Scott promotes tourism, Isaac recovery

Gov. Rick Scott has a message for tourists concerned that Hurricane Isaac washed out their Labor Day weekend plans. Come on down. Florida's governor was in Pensacola Thursday to promote travel to the Panhandle and to talk with hospitality and tourism leaders about economic recovery from the storm that lashed the coastline this week. [Source: Gainesville Sun]

» Canaveral, other national seashores could disappear beneath the waves

Who really changes the economy?

A clear-eyed look at past campaigns shows that presidential leadership is just one of many threads that can weave together a strong economy. Other factors — such as technological innovations, new business practices, shifts in other countries' politics, social changes and so much more — may shape the economy more than any president. [Source: WFIT]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Safety Net: Mayport Naval Station

Over the past 25 years, Jacksonville’s Mayport Naval Station has shrunk from two aircraft carriers, 28 combat ships and nearly 30,000 sailors to 19 ships and 5,000 sailors. For the small businesses around the base, from ship-repair companies to suppliers, the future has looked increasingly dark. But that might be changing. Full story...


› Gas prices spike as Labor Day travel weekend approaches
Gassing up a 2012 Pathfinder, Efrain Scull watched dumbfounded as the gauge spun past $85. He spent another $22 to fill a 5-gallon container. "More than a hundred bucks," said Scull, 57, who was filling up for his employer, Courtesy Nissan of Tampa, on Thursday. "Glad this is not out of my pocket. I don't make that much."

› Southwest Florida business executives optimistic economy will keep improving
The Southwest Florida economy is showing signs of a recovery, and business executives appear to agree. Sixty-one percent of Lee County business executives believe the economy will improve over the next year. And 39 percent said they expect to hire more workers in the next year, it shows.

› Carnival looking to buy naming rights to Miami Beach Park
Located at the mouth of Government Cut, Miami Beach’s South Pointe Park is a rolling, waterfront lawn that makes for pleasant jogs and scenic views. And with more than 4 million cruise passengers passing in and out of the PortMiami and past the park each year, it might also make for one heck of a marketing opportunity.
» UPDATE: Carnival no longer pursuing naming rights for South Pointe Park

› Unions get setback in Florida privatization fight
A public employee union is mulling its options after a judge refused to reopen a lawsuit challenging Florida's plan to privatize prison health care. A spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said on Thursday it not yet decided what to do.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Doctors form new venture
Hospitalist Group of Southwest Florida, a group of physicians who specialize in hospital care, formed a joint venture with Cogent HMG, the largest privately held hospital-physician company in the country.

› Flowers, butterflies chase most homeless from Stranahan Park
In Stranahan Park, the flowers are blooming, the butterflies are aflutter, and the homeless are on the run. The plan to turn a popular daytime hang-out for the homeless into a botanical garden is taking root.

› Darden completes Yard House purchase
Darden Restaurants has completed its $585 million purchase of Yard House USA from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners LLC. Darden announced the acquisition's completion Wednesday evening. The chain is now part of Darden's Specialty Restaurant Group, which also includes The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie V's.

› Why Both Presidential Candidates Are Ignoring The Housing Issue
There has been plenty of political talk about the economy this week, but precious few words about one of the biggest drags on the economy: housing. Despite recent signs that the housing market is improving, it is far from healthy.