March 2017 Press Release

May 22, 2017


Chelsea Gold
(850) 422-7742
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Traditional Spending Categories Lag, While Travel and Housing See Increasing Sales Growth

Tallahassee, FL – The Tallahassee Economic Index (TEI), the city’s top economic growth indicator, today released numbers ending March 2017.The numbers show residents shifting to spending money online and on their home, instead of on clothes and shoes in local stores. The airport also saw increasing passenger volume.

“The pullback in the TEI accelerated in March, led by a drawdown in retail spending & a surge in initial claims for reemployment assistance,” said TEI Founder Brett F. Ewing. “The slowdown in retail sales is something that is consistent with what we are seeing on a national level. Consumer spending habits are shifting more and more to online, even for big ticket items. While initial claims rose on a month to month basis they were still lower than a year ago, but it is definitely something that deserves close monitoring.”

The Index dropped 9.58 points, from 59.90 in February to 50.31 in March.

“The beginning of spring did not brighten up the index, as weak numbers littered most of our data categories,” said Lance Mitchell, Director of Research at the TEI. “The few bright spots in the TEI came from areas that have shown continued strength throughout the past year. Airport traffic has been a consistent grower and positive area of strength in Tallahassee for some time now. Local Real Estate also continued its surge. At the risk of sounding like a broken record every month; homes sales, median sales price, new permits, & lumber sales all repeated their march higher as the residential market shows no signs of slowing down.”

  • • Building Permits were up 57.50 percent in March, and are 46.51 percent higher than March 2016
  • • Realtor Sales grew by 63.02 percent from last month, and by 5 percent YoY
  • • Airport Traffic jumped 20.84 percent MoM, and 9.90 percent YoY
  • • Initial Claims for Reemployment Assistance rose 27.17 percent from February, and slightly declined .88 percent from March 2016
  • • Lumber and Building Materials sales grew by 14.37 percent MoM, and 22.04 percent YoY

The components of the TEI include:

Initial Unemployment Claims

Office Supplies


Building Permits

Average Home Sales Price

Realtor Sales Counts

Shoe Stores


Home Furniture

Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing

Household Appliances


Airport Traffic

Pawn Shops

Drinking Establishments

About the TEI

Powered by First Franklin Financial Services, the TEI tracks and predicts economic growth in the city of Tallahassee, Florida. This is accomplished using data collected from official sources throughout Leon County. More info at


  • Tallahassee Economic Index
  • Phone:
    (850) 422-7724
  • Fax:
    (850) 422-7736

The Tallahassee Economic Index, First Franklin Financial Services and Centaurus Financial Incorporated are not affiliated companies.

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