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West Coast, Texas Metros Dominate Economic Growth Leaderboard in 2015

West Coast, Texas Metros Dominate Economic Growth Leaderboard in 2015

Real gross domestic product increased across all metropolitan areas in 2015, but the sharpest increases came in areas along the West Coast and in Texas, according to new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Across all metros, GDP increased an inflation-adjusted 2.5% on average from 2014. Driving that increase was growth in Professional/Business Services, but economic drivers were mixed across top-performing metros.

San Jose, with a GPD increase of 8.9% over 2014, outshone other major metros. The West Coast tech hub’s greatest growth came from the Information and Professional/Business Services sectors, followed by durable goods manufacturing. Raleigh landed in the #2 spot, at 7%. The Financial Services industry contributed to nearly a third of Raleigh’s growth.

Anchors of south central Texas trailed closely behind, with Austin, San Antonio and Houston each securing top five rankings. While Austin experienced a generally even distribution of growth among industries, the latter metros’ spike in GDP were driven by the oil-and-gas industry. With that industry struggling with low oil prices, GDP growth in 2016 could weaken, as the area’s energy economy has significantly slowed over recent months.

Not surprisingly, many of the top markets for GDP growth in 2015 registered median household income growth over the same period. Markets like San Francisco and Portland saw annual household income increases of around 6%.

Market Leaders for GDP Growth

Among smaller U.S. metropolitan areas, areas in Texas shined. Registering a 9.4% swing, Midland led GDP percent change, driven entirely by oil and gas. The small West Texas metro endured a GDP decline across a majority of industries, but was lifted by a near-13% spike in the natural resources and mining sector.

Another Texas market, Beaumont-Port Arthur, also experienced interesting GDP change. More than three quarters of the area’s 6.1% rise could be attributed to non-durable goods manufacturing.

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