South Florida’s recovery relies on healthcare dollars

South Florida’s recovery relies on healthcare dollars

South Florida’s healthcare industry accounted for 60 percent of the region’s economic recovery since the recession began.

That’s one startling conclusion from some local economic data released Friday morning.

The new estimates of economic output show 2011 was a feeble year for the region’s $263 billion economy, with overall output still down 7 percent from 2007 in real dollars — that is, when adjusting for inflation.

What’s holding the economy back? Housing values, of course. Lower real estate values cut into how the Bureau of Economic Analysis calculates economic output tied to living expenses, and the real estate category — which includes all rents paid in the region — plunged 5 percent in 2011 and is down 11 percent since 2007.