“Brexit will cause volatility in financial markets, will likely slow down the number of U.K. visitors to Florida and reduce foreign direct investment in our state…but there is good news for Florida’s imports.”
Florida Chamber’s Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 24, 2016) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today released the following statement from Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist for the Florida Chamber Foundation, regarding the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union.
“On Monday, I taped a segment for the Florida Chamber’s monthly Florida by the Numbers about the vote and the potential effects on the Florida economy if the U.K. voted to leave. Florida’s tourism from the U.K. will likely be affected because the expected decrease in the value of the British Pound will make travel to Florida more expensive for U.K. residents.
“In 2015, more than 1.7 million U.K. visitors came to Florida- that’s about 40 percent of Florida’s European visitors and about 15 percent of all of Florida’s overseas visitors. In fact, visitors from the U.K. make up the largest non-Canadian visitor group Florida has. International visitors spend more and stay longer, and leave more sales and other tax dollars in our state. With more than $89 billion spent by visitors in 2015 in taxable sales, this is a substantial contributor to Florida’s general revenue.
“The vote by the U.K. to leave the European Union will also have the immediate effects of increasing volatility in financial markets, and that could lead to reduced foreign direct investment in Florida. We know from history that increases in uncertainty and volatility typically have negative effects on investment and trade.
“Although the drop in the value of the British Pound will likely slow down U.K. visitors to Florida and reduce foreign direct investment in our state, there is good news for Florida’s imports. Imports from the U.K. should now become cheaper. Currently, Florida imports twice as much as it exports to the U.K.
“The value of the Euro compared to the U.S. dollar is likely to fall as well. Florida’s imports from Europe made up 23 percent of the total imports in 2015 – totaling $16.9 billion. Those imports should become less expensive as the Euro falls in value versus the U.S. dollar.”