A replay of last year’s slow economic growth looks likely this year.

South Florida’s unemployment rate finally dropped below 10 percent in November for the first time in 31 months. But its descent probably will remain slow, according to the Business Advisory Board of the Daily Business Review.

Panelists recently discussed the economic outlook for 2012, as well as their expectations for the region’s key business sectors.

The discussion touched on a two-tier recovery in the commercial real estate market, growing interest among wealthy Latin Americans in buying Florida businesses (and not just condos), the potential for new hotel construction in the region and how medical services are overshadowing life sciences as a force in the South Florida economy.

Region can’t count on robust growth
Business uncertainty, banking inertia and political stalemate are likely to weigh on economic growth this year.

Top-tier properties keep earnings positive returns
Quality office buildings and industrial warehouses in South Florida generally are earning good returns for investors and things should improve into 2012.

Medical service is attracting capital more easily than science
South Florida’s life science industry spans an exciting range of research-intensive ventures and institutions with the potential for discovering miraculous cures. Yet efforts to improve the everyday delivery of routine medical care may be having a bigger impact on employment and investment in South Florida.

Emerging markets help South Florida
South Florida’s international trade and tourism industries are likely to remain healthy this year, especially if Latin American economies keep growing.

Hospitality will continue to shelter South Florida from an inclement economy
Hospitality and related industries are likely to remain solid foundations of area employment during 2012, but a new round of tourism-related real estate investment may take longer to build.

dbrTV: 2012 Economic Outlook
Panelists discussed the economic outlook for this year, as well as their expectations for the region’s key business sectors including the real estate recovery, Latin America and gambling in South Florida.