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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Economists see US growth pickup this year

The consensus of the 48 economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics is that bad weather cut first-quarter growth to a weak annual rate of 1.9 percent, but that growth could exceed 3 percent by year's end. [Source: AP]

Startup businesses have more office options

Some 7,000 startups and 30 startup organizations are currently in Florida, according to Gust.com, a global platform for management of early-stage companies. Startup companies seeking to lease month-to-month office space — and get guidance on growing their businesses at the same time — suddenly have more options in South Florida. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

The March Madness myth about productivity

Academic research has found that yes, work is affected by viewing games and filling out brackets, but not in a serious way. Charles Clotfelter, a professor at Duke University, wrote in 2012 that "the tournament has a profound and widespread impact on patterns of work" but wouldn't go so far as to say it had a big impact on productivity. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Catalina deal price pegged at $2.5 billion

Hellman & Friedman is selling Catalina Marketing Corp. to Berkshire Partners for about $2.5 billion. Catalina, a St. Petersburg company that provides customized consumer digital media, has been owned by H&F since 2007. [Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal]

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Gas prices continue slow climb

Gas prices continued to rise in the past week, but more slowly than they have been. Nationally, the average price for a gallon of regular gas rose 1 cent to $3.53, according to AAA. It went up 2 cents to $3.56 in Florida. More from the Florida Times-Union and WFTX.


› Small brewers cheer changes to beer measure
Small breweries may not be as mighty as Anheuser-Busch distributors, but they showed a little muscle on Monday by helping to reshape a House bill that could have put some out of business.

› Gainesville's oldest law firm is finding new life downtown
Dell Graham is a 10 lawyer firm with six of those 10 having board certification in civil trial, education, healthcare, and wills, trusts and estates. It is Gainesville’s oldest operating law firm, and one of a half-dozen of the oldest firms in Florida, having roots back 140 years.

› For Realtor, second job is representing industry in Tallahassee
Realtor Mike Bruno feels like he's working two jobs these days, but he's not complaining. In addition to his regular gig as a real estate agent with Michael Saunders & Co., Bruno is the 2014 vice president for District 13 for the Florida Realtors trade association.

› Florida lawmakers consider flood insurance changes
The Florida Legislature is moving forward on a plan to entice private insurance companies to sell flood policies in the state that's the most vulnerable to storm surge.

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› Money manager David Kotok talks recovery, the middle class, and fishing
Sick and bedridden while putting the finishing touches on a book, British economist William Beveridge proclaimed “I have so much work to do” — before dying moments later. Those last words now motivate David Kotok to rise each morning, loop a tie around his neck and go into his office downtown in One Sarasota Tower.

› Florida NEXT and One Spark collaborate to boost creativity
Since its establishment three years ago by former banker and Florida CFO Alex Sink, the non-profit Florida NEXT Foundation has served to guide and encourage startups, business accelerators and tech initiatives statewide.

› Design for PortMiami soccer stadium revealed
A group led by retired English soccer star David Beckham is set to unveil its design for a European-style, open-air fútbol stadium at PortMiami.
» Related: Beckham making case for remaking port with soccer

› South Florida hotels see stellar February
Last month, Broward County hotels had another stellar performance with 90 percent occupancy, the highest February occupancy since 2008, according to data released from Smith Travel Research.