Economic Growth Up in Valley and Nation

by Mike Hunter

Economic-GrowthReal GDP increased in 305 of the nation’s 381 metropolitan areas in 2012, led by growth in durable-goods manufacturing, trade and financial activities, according to new statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real GDP in metropolitan areas increased 2.5 percent in 2012 after increasing 1.7 percent in 2011.

Greater Phoenix-Scottsdale-Mesa was among the top growth metropolitan areas, with an average real GDP of 3.2 percent and overall ranking of 83rd. Of the ten largest metropolitan areas, the three with the fastest real GDP growth in 2012 were San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. (7.4 percent), Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (5.3 percent), and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (4.3 percent). The ten largest metropolitan areas, accounting for 34 percent of national GDP, averaged 3.1 percent growth in 2012 after growing 1.9 percent in 2011.

Durable-goods manufacturing continued to spur growth in many of the nation’s metropolitan areas in 2012. Strong contributions from this industry fueled growth in many small metropolitan areas where it constitutes a large portion of the area’s economy. Durable-goods manufacturing in Phoenix-Scottsdale-Mesa saw 0.64 percentage points and was among the top growth sectors in 2012 overall for our area.

The effect of the growth in trade (wholesale and retail) was widespread — 363 of the nation’s 381 metropolitan areas experienced positive contributions to growth. Phoenix-Scottsdale-Mesa reported a .33-percent increase for 2012. The strongest contributions from this industry occurred in other areas of the Southwest region. One of the largest contributions occurred in Odessa, Texas (3.1 percent).

In 2012, the financial activities industry was a strong contributor to growth in many metropolitan areas. Phoenix-Scottsdale-Mesa scored their highest points in this sector, with financial activities accounting for 1.27 percentage points. Notable contributions to growth from this industry occurred in Missoula, Mont. (3.4 percentage points); Eau Claire, Wis. (2.3 percentage points); Bloomington, Ill. (2.3 percentage points); Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Mont.-Wis. (2.0 percentage points); and Ocean City, N.J. (2.0 percentage points).

Although natural resources and mining was not a major contributor to growth for the nation, several metropolitan areas in the Southwest region experienced strong growth spurred by this industry. Phoenix-Scottsdale-Mesa was not one of them, experiencing only 0.07 percentage points in this sector. The notable contributions to growth occurred in Laredo, Texas (2.6 percentage points); San Angelo, Texas (2.2 percentage points); Corpus Christi, Texas (2.2 percentage points); and Longview, Texas (2.1 percentage points).

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