ECONOMIC COMMENTARY AND CONSULTING ACTIVITIES

BY TONY VILLAMIL
SPRING 2015
U.S. Economic Indicators

2012

2013

2014

US Economic Outlook for 2015

Real GDP Growth (Average)

2.3%

2.2%

2.4%

US economic activity decelerated in QI-2015, impacted by a growing
trade deficit and slow growth in Eurozone, Asia and Latin America.
Inflationary pressures remain subdued so far this year, slightly
below FED policy target of 2%. Monetary policy may tighten
modestly later in the year as labor slack is much diminished.

PCE Deflator

1.8%

1.5%

1.5%

The previous sharp decline in energy prices and a strong US$ are
keeping the inflation rate lower than FED objective of 2%. Inflation
likely to remain in the 1.5%-2.0% for remainder of 2015.

Payroll Employment Growth

1.7%

1.7%

1.9%

Payroll employment is growing at a moderate pace, absorbing the
previously high-labor slack. The unemployment rate is steadily
decreasing, and it could reach 5% by end-of-year. There are growing
labor shortages in skilled occupations. While “cost-push” inflation is
not evident, a declining unemployment rate is the main reason why
the FED is expected to begin “nudge up” slightly the FED funds rate
during the summer or fall months.

Florida Economic Indicators

2012

2013

2014

Florida Economic Outlook for 2015

Payroll Employment Growth

2.0%

2.5%

3.2%

Florida’s economic activity and payroll employment growth remains
one of the strongest in the US this year. The growth in employment
is widespread among key industries such as Professional and
Business Services, Travel and Hospitality, Construction, Retail Trade,
Education and Health.

Single-Family Home Sales

8.5%

11.2%

8.1%

Single-family home sales have grown over the past three years, with
significant reductions in the “shadow inventory” of foreclosed
homes. We expect again moderate increases in sales this year,
given attractive mortgage rates, growing employment and
accelerating population growth in major urban areas of the State.

Exports ($ in Billions)

$90

$85

$82

Export activity will remain sluggish this year. The global economy is
expanding at only a modest pace. Brazil, Florida’s top export
market, is in recession. Furthermore, the appreciating US dollar
against key currencies is impacting the price competitiveness of US
exports.

(Inflation Rate, used by FED)

Sources: US Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida Association of Realtors, US Census, Foreign Trade Division and The Washington
Economics Group, Inc. for 2015 Outlook.

Bottom Line: 2015 Outlook
US economic growth is faster than those of major countries of the global economy. However, the
US expansion is moderate, and has been below potential growth since the recovery started in late
2009. Under this moderate macroeconomic environment, Florida continues to perform
significantly above the national average.
This year should not be an exception to solid growth in Florida, in spite of a soft global economy.
Among factors propelling Florida above national averages are: 1) top business climate, 2) lowinterest rates, 3) low-energy prices, and 4) population growth, with Florida ranked the third most
populous state in the Nation. Downside risks to monitor carefully are: 1) the degree of expected
monetary tightening by the FED, 2) Eurozone monetary policy efforts to reactivate economic
activity, 3) Russia’s aggressive stance in Eastern Europe, 4) Middle-East turmoil that could engulf
Saudi Arabia and 5) The Brazil recession.

Economic Commentary and Consulting Activities

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News and Consulting Activities
WEG Prepares Economic Impact Study on the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) Funding Shortfall
The largest school system in the State of Florida and the fourth largest in the United States, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
(MDCPS), retained The Washington Economics Group, Inc. (WEG) to estimate the economic impacts of the School District’s funding
shortfall. The $300 million revenue shortfall between 2007 and 2012 is caused by lower-than-expected tax collections and a twoyear backlog in Miami-Dade County Value Adjustment Board appeals. This is the main source of funding for MDCPS. WEG’s key
findings have been highlighted in the South Florida Business Journal and the issue has been advocated in Tallahassee during the
recent legislative session.
WEG Presents Economic Development Study of Baptist Health South Florida’s Current and Projected Impacts on the
South Florida Region
WEG is pleased to continue working with the largest private-sector employer in South Florida, Baptist Health South Florida (BHSF),
as independent consultants to estimate the economic development impacts of the System’s operational and planned healthcare
facilities to the South Florida region. WEG estimated the contribution that BHSF’s seven (7) hospitals and over thirty (30) outpatient
facilities provides to the tri-county region, as well as the increased economic impacts after the planned major and innovative capital
investments including a new Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute and a state-of-the-art Cancer Institute featuring a groundbreaking
proton therapy center.
WEG Analyzes the Economic Impacts of the Inaugural Miami Beach Bowl Event at Marlins Park
WEG was engaged to estimate the economic impacts associated with the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl football game and its associated

events in Miami-Dade County. WEG understands the importance of these events to the professional sports industry and to Miami’s
growing sports, entertainment and tourism cluster. The visitors and competitors attending the game extend their stay and spend
tourist dollars on hotels, meals, transportation, entertainment and retail purchases. These expenditures by overnight visitors
positively impact employment, Household Income and overall economic activity in the County .
WEG Prepares an Economic Impact Study of the Rapidly Growing eMerge Americas Conferences
WEG has served as economic consultants since the successes of the inaugural eMerge Americas Conference in 2014. The eMerge
Americas Conference economic impacts are growing rapidly in both the State and South Florida region. Notably, the eMerge
Americas Conference and its associated events have started to stimulate a clustering of technology-related industries and a cycle
of growing economic impacts in high-wage and high value-added sectors of the economy.
WEG Presents the Social and Economic Development Impacts of Jewish Community Services Social Services Programs
WEG analyzed the important and growing role that Jewish Community Services (JCS) plays in advancing the social and economic
development of Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida. Since 1920, JCS has been providing cost-effective social services
through compassionate and comprehensive programs that help people stay healthy and productive in the local community. In this
Study, WEG estimates the positive economic development impacts of JCS through highly efficient operations and a low operating
budget generated through partnerships with funding agencies, organizations and local leaders. JCS continuously strengthens its
outreach and expands its social and economic impacts through successful program outcomes.
WEG Continues Providing Economic Analyses for the International Speedway Corporation (ISC), in Particular
Homestead-Miami Speedway
WEG is pleased to be economic consultants for the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) since 2007. This year, WEG analyzed
the economic impacts of ISC’s Homestead-Miami Speedway facility in the City of Homestead, Florida. For almost two decades, the
Homestead-Miami Speedway has played a significant role in the economic development of Miami-Dade County and the City of
Homestead. In particular, the Speedway has significantly contributed to the region’s sports, entertainment and tourism industries
as targeted by the Economic Development Strategy of the State of Florida and of Miami-Dade County.

Executive Team Activities and Presentations
The Tampa Tribune Published an Article by Tony Villamil on the Positive Return on Taxpayers' Investment of Pro Sports
Facilities
WEG Principal, Tony Villamil, continues to support professional sports facilities in the State of Florida. In a recent article issued in
the Tampa Tribune, Tony explains that professional sports facilities in Florida have positive economic impacts, attracting thousands
of national and overseas visitors and competitors to the State each year. Sports facilities are located at the heart of sports,
entertainment and tourism clusters with attractions that ensure visitors extend their stay and spend tourist dollars on hotels, meals,
transportation, entertainment and retail purchases.
Economic Commentary and Consulting Activities

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Tony Villamil at the "United States-Cuba Forum" Luncheon Event Hosted By Latin American Business Association
WEG Founder and Principal, Tony Villamil, participated as a panelist at the United States-Cuba Forum Event hosted by the Latin
American Business Association (LABA) on March 25th, 2015. During the luncheon, attended by members of LABA and the South
Florida community, Tony's remark's focused on the effect of opening up Cuba on the business climate in Florida. This is the first of
a series of informative forums. As negotiations with Cuba progress, LABA will continue informing on the issues and impacts that
come along with the decisions made.
Marielena Villamil, WEG CEO, Recognized for Community Involvement
As part of the WEG’s commitment to the community, Marielena Villamil, co-founder, received two (2) different awards for her work
in the community. In November 2014, Marielena was recognized by the American Cancer Society as an honoree in the Inner Circle
of 12. On April 30, 2015, she was honored as a Miracle Maker by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami Dade. Marielena also cochaired 2 galas: The Cuba Corps Gala in April and the Branches Gala Dinner in May.
Daily Business Review Interviewed WEG Principal on South Florida Economic Outlook 2015
Tony Villamil was interviewed by Mike Seemuth for an article dated February 3, 2015 in the Daily Business Review on the South
Florida Economic Outlook for 2015. Tony Villamil said "South Florida is finishing 2014 with all the cylinders running at a high rate."
He added that the strongest sectors of the South Florida economy this year will be Construction, Retail, Tourism and their supported
industries. In addition, he also said that robust international trade in 2015 is unlikely due to a mixed economic outlook abroad."
Central America and the Dominican Republic are doing well, but the Euro Zone is almost in a recession, and the Japanese economy
already is in recession. Economic growth this year will be moderate in such South American countries as Colombia, Chile and Peru,
non-existent in Argentina and Venezuela, and possibly Brazil."
Marielena Villamil, WEG CEO, Meets with Policymakers in Tallahassee, FL
In her role as volunteer Chair of the Public Policy Committee of the United Way of Miami Dade County (UW), Marielena participated
in the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Fly-In to Tallahassee, FL in January 2015, where she met with key decision makers of
the Florida Legislature to promote the UW legislative agenda for 2015.
Tony Villamil Presents "Sunny Outlook" For Polk County According to The Ledger
On January 15, 2015, Tony Villamil, WEG Founder and Principal Advisor, returned to Lakeland as a featured speaker at the 28th
Annual Economic Forecast Breakfast hosted by Allen & Company of Florida and the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce.
According to an article released in The Ledger, Tony Villamil presented a “sunny outlook” for the local and State economy in 2015
due to continued low interest rates and declining energy prices. He said, “We predicted a good year for Florida and it has happened.
This year will be even better relative to the economic environment here in the Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA.”
Tony Villamil, Jr. (TJ) Joined WEG as Advisor for Marketing and External Relations
In January 2015, Tony Villamil, Jr. (TJ) joined WEG as advisor for marketing and external relations. TJ holds both Bachelor and
Masters degrees from the University of Florida (UF) and served as Special Assistant to the UF President in the past year. TJ can be
reached at tj@villamil.co or at (305) 461-3811.
Tony Villamil Headlines at Vizcaino, Zomerfeld's "Environment for Growth" Event Presenting a Positive Economic
Outlook
On January 23rd, 2015, Tony Villamil presented an economic outlook for the Florida economy at the “Environment for Growth”
event hosted by Vizcaino Zomerfeld, LLP, a leading Miami-based CPA firm that provides accounting, advisory, tax, audit and
litigation support services. Tony’s presentation entitled, “Florida Entered the New Year with Strong Economic Momentum: A
Positive Environment for South Florida Businesses to Continue in 2015,” included an overview of economic drivers and financial
indicators, as well as a forecast for 2015.
Verity Finch, Manager of Client Services, Represents WEG at Chamber Events and Other Professional Association
Meetings
Verity Finch, Manager of Client Services, has represented WEG at Chamber events, as well as professional association meetings.
Verity serves as WEG’s client liaison, working with clients to facilitate their business interests and achieve their goals through
exclusive economics and market research advisor services. Verity can be reached at vfinch@weg.com or at (305) 461-3811.
Tony Villamil Participates In "AHORA" Radio Program with Popular Host Oscar Haza
Tony Villamil participated in the in the popular Spanish radio program called "AHORA" with Oscar Haza on Mambi 710AM. The
program was focused on the US economic outlook and interest rates.
Economic Commentary and Consulting Activities

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At the New America International (NAI) Florida Forum Inaugural Event, Tony Villamil Presents the Keynote Address
At the Inaugural NAI Florida Forum on November 5th, 2014, Tony Villamil presented the keynote address on the Florida economy
to State and national business owners and leaders. This prestigious event highlighted the latest economic trends, real estate
condition, and business opportunities throughout the State of Florida. Business leaders from around the State and US attended for
a unique opportunity to gain insight into what is happening in today’s global economy and its local impact from experts with deep
roots in each Florida market.
Tony Villamil Participates Regularly on the “Business Hour” Hosted by Pete De La Torre
WEG Principal, Tony Villamil, provides regular updates on Florida, the US and global economies on the “Business Hour” radio show,
hosted by Pete De La Torre on 880AM The BIZ.

Tony Villamil Presents at the Enterprise Florida International Office Summit on Economic and Market Trends in
Florida
In May 2015, WEG Principal, Tony Villamil made a presentation on the Florida economy to representatives from Enterprise
Florida’s network of International Offices including Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Israel, Japan, South Africa, and the U.K. Tony’s
presentation entitled, “The Economic Landscape: Fundamental Trends Impacting Business Opportunities in Florida” highlighted
important market trends and identified key opportunities for foreign companies looking to establish a corporate base in Florida .

Tony Villamil’s Presentations
to Corporations and National Entities
WEG Principal Advisor, Tony Villamil, will deliver the following important presentations throughout
Florida for the remainder of the Spring and Summer Season. Among the upcoming scheduled
presentations are:

 May 13, 2015: Florida District Export Council and The US Commercial, Tony will
be a panelist in the Plenary Session: State of the Americas Service of the Discover
Global Markets: The Americas Business Forum Series 2015 at the Hilton Miami
Downtown, Symphony Ballroom I.
 May 15, 2015: Greater Miami Chamber 3rd Annual Logistics and Trade Conference,
Tony to participate in the Panel Global Trends in Trade at the Hilton Miami
Downtown.
 June 2, 2015: Tony will be a panelist in the Plenary Session on Business as a
Globalized Expression to Eliminate Hurdles at the CAMACOL 36th Hemisphere
Conference to take place at the Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables.
 June 11, 2015: Keynote speaker at the Brevard Mid-Year Economic Forecast
Breakfast sponsored by Allen & Co. at the Suntree Country Club, Melbourne, FL.

If you are interested in having Tony Villamil speak at your organization’s next meeting,
retreat or conference, please contact:
Verity Finch at vfinch@weg.com or at (305) 461-3811

Follow Tony Villamil commenting on the Global, US and Florida Economies:
www.weg.com or Twitter: @TonyVillamil

Economic Commentary and Consulting Activities

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