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Planning Council Expects Lengthy Economic Recovery For Tampa Bay Region

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The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council reports coronavirus caused social distancing will have a deveastating impact on the state’s $86 billion hospitality industry.";

State and local officials are optimistic that Florida may bepast the peak of coronavirus infection, but a new report from the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council shows that the six area counties are going to take longer to financially recover than most parts of the country.

The report notes that while Florida has fewer coronavirus cases than many states, prolonged social distancing will have a devastating impact on the state’s $86 billion hospitality industry.

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Specifically, the analysis shows that the region will see a more than 10 percent decrease in 2020 in several key areas: total employment, personal impact and gross regional product. Key findings include:

  • Approximately 218,000 Tampa Bay area jobs would be lost.
  • Personal income in the region will decrease by $19.9 billion.
  • The Tampa Bay area gross domestic product (GDP) will drop 11.7 percent, which is equivalent to $20.9 billion drop from the area's previous 2020 GDP estimate.

The impact for the region that includes Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco and Pinellas Counties, is approximately the same for the state.
Like other similar economic forecasts, this reports looks at COVID19 deaths, drops in consumer spending and a national recession as drivers for the change.

More specifically, the report predicts the loss of foreign visitors alone in the coming year will result in a 20 percent drop in spending on hotels, travel and restaurants.

As more data becomes available, the council will update its preliminary analysis. The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Commission expects to release a complete report in June.

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Delaney Brown is a radio news intern for the fall of 2019.