Chamber: Florida GDP hits $1 trillion

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s economy has reached the $1 trillion gross domestic product milestone, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

“Becoming a $1 trillion economy means Florida is continuing to grow and create jobs, keeping unemployment lower than the national average, and creating economic opportunity,” Jerry Parrish, the foundation’s chief economist, said in a press release.

The benchmark makes Florida’s economy the 17th largest in the world, surpassing countries such as Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands and Switzerland, according to the release.

The state hit the mark earlier this week, as Florida adds $2.74 billion to its GDP on a daily basis, Parrish said.

Florida Republicans cheered the milestone.

Gov. Rick Scott, who took office in 2011 and is challenging U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, took some of the credit for the “historic moment” for Florida.

“By working every day to create private-sector jobs, we’ve been able to increase Florida’s GDP by more than $270 billion -- 37 percent -- since 2010. When I came into office I made it very clear that we would get our economy back on track,” Scott said in the release.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican running in a heated primary race against Congressman Ron DeSantis to replace Scott, gave the nod to the governor, the Cabinet and the GOP-dominated Legislature for “getting Florida’s economy out of the ditch and back on track,” but warned that “complacency is not a strategy and we must continue to do all that we can to make the Florida’s economy as strong and resilient as possible.”

And Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, a Republican appointed by Scott to the Cabinet post last year, credited the $1 trillion benchmark as “a testament to the work done over the past seven years.”

Patronis, who faces a re-election challenge from Democrat Jeremy Ring, also cautioned that the state needs to continue “the policies that have helped us achieve this feat, to ensure Florida remains a top global economy.”