New figures released Wednesday by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis show that gross domestic product rose in 267 of 382 metropolitan areas last year. Overall, real GDP was up 1.7. percent in 2016 versus the year before.
The bureau cited growth in information services; professional and business services; and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing as the primary drivers of the expansion. The most robust sector was information services, in which growth rose by 6.5 percent. “This industry contributed to growth in 260 metropolitan areas and was the leading contributor to growth in Provo-Orem, UT, and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA,” the bureau said. These areas saw an expansion of 6.1 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.
Professional and business services were the second strongest performer, according to the report, tracking upwards by 2.7 percent. This grouping added to growth in 273 metro areas, especially in Ocala, FL, by 5.0. percent, and in Oshkosh-Neenah, WI, by 2.6 percent.
Next was the finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing category, which ticked higher by 1.2 percent. This industry stimulated expansion in 217 areas. Most notable in this regard were Saint Cloud, MN, and Elizabethtown-Ft. Knox, KY, which grew by 5.3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.
Other sectors, however, saw declines. Natural resources and mining fell by 5.3 percent. “This industry subtracted growth in 169 metropolitan areas,” said the BEA. Noteworthy pullbacks took place in Odessa, TX (down 13.3 percent), and Casper, WY (off 11.6 percent).
In terms of large metro areas, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, and Austin-Round Rock, TX, saw the most economic momentum forward, 5.4 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively. Among small metro areas, the strongest performers were Bend-Redmond, OR, and Lake Charles, LA, both of which saw upswings of 8.1 percent.