ECONOMIC TIME MACHINE

In northern Fla., economy fueled by government dollars

 

dhanks@MiamiHerald.com

For every dollar that comes into South Florida’s economy, about 11 cents arrives directly from the government.

That’s slightly below the national average of 12 cents, and helps give some perspective for the ongoing debate over whether the economy can handle a pullback in government spending. But the most interesting part of these statistics, which come from regional Gross Domestic Product numbers, may be the ratios found elsewhere in Florida.

As South Florida’s public sector braces for cutbacks in the federal “sequestration” regimen, at least the process begins with the private sector accounting for 89 percent of the economy. Not so in regions where the government occupies a much larger economic footprint.

In Pensacola, home to a large naval air base, government at all levels accounts for 25 percent of the economy. And in the Tallahassee region, home to state government, the public sector accounts for 32 percent of the economy — almost one out of every three cents produced.

As the sequester takes hold, South Florida starts off far more insulated from damage than do those regions

The Miami Herald’s Economic Time Machine blog seeks to put South Florida’s recovery into historical perspective. We try to take the long view on economic stats. For analysis of the latest economic news, visit miamiherald.com/economic-time-machine and look for our weekly chart on Page 3 of Business Monday.

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