September 15, 2019

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/12/2019

Imminent recession? Florida economic forecast says not yet

The looming recession gaining traction in headlines may not be as close as expected. A quarterly economic forecast by the University of Central Florida said that a number of factors used to evaluate the national economy point in a positive direction. But other economists have reservations about being too optimistic. Many fears stem from a particular measure: long-term interest rates dipping below short-term interest rates. This can foreshadow an impending recession, University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith said, but “it is not a perfect predictor." [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Trend Exclusive
What happened to auto company Rivian?

FLORIDA TREND discovered auto company Rivian in 2011 (Economic Engine?) when it was a 30-employee startup emerging from stealth mode in Rockledge. Its wunderkind founder, then 28-year-old R.J. Scaringe, grew up in Cocoa Beach. Eight years later, the coupes, gas engine and Florida base are no more. But Scaringe, at 35 still a boy wonder, has the automotive media’s motor running with his plan to begin production next year of an all-electric, Range Rover-priced pickup to be followed in 2021 with an SUV. [Source: Florida Trend]

26 feet of water: What the worst-case hurricane scenario looks like for Tampa Bay

It’s become a haunting question of when, not if, a big hurricane will return to the Tampa Bay area. Residents surrounding Tampa Bay have been spared the worst-case hurricane scenario many times before. Now, there’s so much more to lose. And sometime soon, we don’t know when, the worst-case scenario will arrive: a Category 5 hurricane, with winds in excess of 160 mph. [Source: Vox]

Publix tells shoppers not to openly carry guns in its stores

If you’ve got a gun, Publix Supermarkets prefers you keep that knowledge to yourself. At least when you’re in one of its stores. The Lakeland-based retailer with stores in seven states released a brief statement asking customers to not openly carry firearms in its sores. The announcement comes after a number of major retailers have also taken a stance on open carry in stores. More from the Tampa Bay Times and WPLG.

Stone crab landings hit bottom

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times” pretty much sums up Florida’s 2018-19 stone crab harvest season. The season from Oct. 15 to May 15, 2019, saw its lowest landings in history — about 1.9 million pounds. The likely blame goes to a whole host of environmental factors, including a stubborn two-year red tide bloom along the southwest Florida coast; the Category 5 fall blitzkrieg by Hurricane Michael in the panhandle; and the hangover from Hurricane Irma’s 2017 raking of the Keys’ fertile bay bottom. [Source: National Fisherman]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Florida has a high chance of seeing a tropical depression this week
A disturbance near the Bahamas has a high chance of turning into a tropical cyclone in the next few days, with a tropical depression likely to form as it moves across Florida this weekend, according to forecasters.

› Tampa area businesses seek new customers in Brazil
Brazil has been Florida’s number one international trading partner for years. In 2017, the two exchanged nearly $20 billion in goods and services, according to Enterprise Florida. Business owners from the Tampa Bay region recently traveled to Brazil.

› Jacksonville’s last Sears department store to close by year end
Jacksonville’s last Sears department store will close by the end of the year at The Avenues mall, according to company officials. The store at the northern end of the mall at 10300 Southside Blvd. was one of the original tenants when it opened in 1990 and the last Sears in the area outside of one operating at the Orange Park Mall.

› Skilled labor shortage may swamp South Florida marine industry
Miami’s marine industry is a major economic engine, but a shortage of skilled labor might slow it down, members of the Miami River Commission learned at their meeting Monday. Don MacRae, chief operating officer of RMK Merrill-Stevens, said ordinary maintenance on a yacht costs about 10% of the vessel’s price each year. And with yacht prices soaring into the stratosphere, that means lucrative work for shipyards.

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