Where the Economy is Growing

The economy has been growing fast in recent months – but not all areas of the country are growing at the same rate. A study from the government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis breaks down GDP growth by metro area.

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 312 out of 383 metropolitan areas in 2017. The percent change in real GDP by metropolitan area ranged from 12.1 percent in Odessa, TX to -7.8 percent in Enid, OK (table 2).

Real GDP for U.S. metropolitan areas increased 2.1 percent in 2017, led by growth in professional and business services; wholesale and retail trade; and finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing (table 3).

Large Metropolitan Area Highlights

Of the large metropolitan areas, those with population greater than two million, Austin-Round Rock, TX (6.9 percent) and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (5.2 percent) had the largest increases in real GDP. Increases in Austin-Round Rock, TX and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA were led by increases in wholesale and retail trade.

Real GDP in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland, TX was unchanged from the previous year making it the only large metropolitan area not to increase. Professional and business services subtracted the most from growth in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland, TX offsetting notable contributions from natural resources and mining and nondurable-goods manufacturing.

Small Metropolitan Area Highlights

Of the small metropolitan areas, those with population less than two million, Odessa, TX (12.1 percent) and Elkhart-Goshen, IN (11.3 percent) had the largest increases in real GDP. Odessa, TX was led by an increase in natural resources and mining, while Elkhart-Goshen, IN was led by an increase in durable goods manufacturing.

The largest decreases in real GDP for small metropolitan areas were Enid, OK (-7.8 percent) and Visalia-Porterville, CA (-6.6 percent). Natural resources and mining subtracted from growth in Enid, OK, while finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing subtracted from growth in Visalia-Porterville, CA.

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