Florida Economy Recovering At Modest Pace - BMO Economics

          Florida Economy Recovering At Modest Pace - BMO Economics

- Worst is Over for Stressed Housing Market

- Jobless Rate Trending Down

- Net Population Migration Positive

PR Newswire

SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 13, 2012

SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Florida economy is
recovering at a modest pace, with lower inventories and upward price momentum
suggesting that the worst days of the housing crash are behind. Real GDP will
likely grow 1.4 percent in 2012, and pick up to 1.9 percent in 2013 when the
housing recovery begins to take deeper root according to the State Monitor
Report by BMO Capital Markets Economics.

There are mounting signs that the housing downturn has finally stabilized,
even in this extremely hard-hit state. According to the FHFA Index, Florida
prices plunged more than 40 percent peak-to-trough, but were down a modest 1.8
percent year over year in Q2 – the slowest pace of decline since early 2007.
Additionally, according to the Case-Shiller Index, prices in Miami and Tampa
have bounced about 9 percent from their late 2011 lows. The upward price
momentum comes alongside a substantial drawdown in the months' supply of home
available for sale – the 8.5 in Miami in Q2 compares to more than 60 at the
depths of the downturn.

"We are seeing a significant uptick in the number of people inquiring about
either refinancing their current mortgage or looking to finance a new home
purchase," said BMO Harris Bank Florida President, Dave Maraman. "We continue
to increase the number of mortgage specialists in recognition of the improved
market."

Employment continues to grind higher, but not anything you would consider
robust. Payrolls were up nearly 1 percent year over year in September, and the
jobless rate is still above-average at 8.7 percent. Tourism related employment
continues its recovery, with accommodation and food services up 1.3 percent
year over year – still below pre-recession levels.

Net outward migration appears to have stopped, but population growth remained
well below pre-recession trends at 1.2 percent in 2011.

The full State Monitor report can be downloaded at www.bmocm.com/economics .

About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal
banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately
1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota,
Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team
provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market
focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by
BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(SM) is a trade name used by
BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North
American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base
of approximately $180 billion.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

Contact: Carey Allen, +1-480-558-6383, carey.allen@bmo.com