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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

A rush for industrial space

Southwest Florida's brightening business climate has led to a spike in demand for industrial space that runs the gamut from warehouses to flex offices and manufacturing plants. That is because after years of being battered by the Great Recession, small- business operators are now moving out of their garages and into commerce parks. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

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Northwest Florida's quest for skilled workers

Jennifer Grove "Most residents don't know we have such a strong manufacturing base or that salaries of this sector in our economy can be $60,000," says Jennifer Grove.

An estimated 3,400 skilled workers will be needed in northwest Florida over the next five years, but regional education and workforce development programs expect to train just 860. The shortage has prompted manufacturers to form the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council, whose goal is to produce more skilled workers and create awareness of jobs. Full story...

Shutdown shrinks economists' optimism

The budget standoff in Congress is over for now, but the U.S. economy is likely to feel the hangover for some time. Two weeks after Washington's latest showdown, more than half of economists surveyed by USA TODAY -- 56% -- are less optimistic about growth prospects than they were three months ago. [Source: USA Today]

Florida Pays $800K To Fix Governor’s Mansion

Most of the money spent on the mansion— nearly $600,000 — has come from taxpayers and goes toward upkeep of the grounds and what is called the “public side” of the mansion, which includes the garden and rooms where public receptions are held. [Source: AP]

Defense companies find business away from battlefield

With the threat of deep military spending cuts rippling through the defense industry, some Central Florida simulation-training contractors say they are carving out new business niches far removed from the field of battle. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


› Halloween spending slips as economy scares off revelers
The National Retail Federation expects a 13.75 percent drop in total U.S. spending on Halloween — to $6.9 billion compared with 2012. Adults will spend an average of $75.03. UCF student Corey Fleming, 18, will be prowling her closet for her "Great Gatsby" costume, sparing only a few bucks for accessories, such as a red feather boa.

› Affluent South Florida women saving more for retirement
Women in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties who have $50,000 to $250,000 in investable assets per household are anticipating they will have $683,000 saved when they retire, $60,000 more than the average for affluent U.S. women who have the same household wealth.

› Tampa Bay leaders tout economic potential of mission to Brazil
This could be the start of a beautiful trade relationship. But it's just the start, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn emphasized Monday as the region's economic development elite gathered to tout their recent business development and trade mission to one of the world's powerhouse economies, Brazil.

› New law makes remedial college courses voluntary
Many students who enroll in Florida community colleges will no longer have to take remedial reading, writing and math courses starting this spring. That’s because Florida lawmakers approved a law (SB 1720) which makes the courses and placement test voluntary for many students.

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› Congressional lawmakers unveil deal to delay sharp rate hikes four years
A bipartisan group from the U.S. House and Senate has reached an agreement on legislation that would delay large flood insurance rate increases for at least four years. The proposal, which is expected to be filed in the Senate Tuesday, could be a huge reprieve for many Florida property owners.

› Business, GOP establishment: Tea party is over
A slice of corporate America thinks tea partyers have overstayed their welcome in Washington and should be shown the door in next year's congressional elections.

› Orlando Magic business model beats badness of Bucs, Jags
The Orlando Magic won't be very good this season, but that's not a bad thing. There is a plan. There is a purpose. That's a lot more then you can say for some of Florida's other professional sports franchises.

› Sugar group expands in Italy
ASR Group, a West Palm Beach-based sugar powerhouse, is expanding in Italy. The group that bills itself as "the world's largest cane sugar refining and marketing company" said it bought a 50 percent stake in Europe's second-largest cane sugar refinery and in the company that sells the refinery's sugar in Italy.