NORMAN — Real GDP increased in 242 of the nation’s 366 metropolitan areas in 2011 led by growth in professional and business services, durable-goods manufacturing, and trade, according to new statistics released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Real GDP in metropolitan areas increased 1.6 percent in 2011 after increasing 3.1 percent in 2010.
Of the ten largest metropolitan areas, the three with the fastest real GDP growth in 2011 were Houston-Sugar Land Baytown, Texas at 3.7 percent, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington at 3.1 percent, and San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont at 2.6 percent. The ten largest metropolitan areas, accounting for 38.1 percent of U.S. metropolitan area GDP, averaged 2.0 percent growth in 2011 after growing 3.1 percent in 2010.
In 2011, professional and business services was a strong contributor to growth in many metropolitan areas. Metropolitan areas in the New England and Far West regions were affected most. Professional and business services contributed more than a percentage point to growth in Worcester, Mass., San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif., San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos and Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Wash.
The industry also drove growth outside these regions, most notably in Peoria, Ill. and Joplin, Mo. where the industry added nearly two percentage points to real GDP growth in 2011.
Durable-goods manufacturing continued to spur growth in many of the nation's metropolitan areas in 2011. Strong contributions from this industry fueled growth in many small metropolitan areas where production of these goods constitutes a large portion of the area's economy.3 This is especially true in the Great Lakes region where durable-goods manufacturing contributed 7.0 percentage points to growth in Kokomo, Ind. and 6.9 percentage points to growth in Columbus, IN. Kokomo, IN and Columbus, IN were two of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in 2011, with overall real GDP growth of 7.1 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively.
The effect of the growth in trade —wholesale and retail — was strongest in the Southwest region in 2011. The largest contribution occurred in Odessa, TX, where trade contributed 2.75 percentage points to overall real GDP growth. The industry also contributed significantly to the real GDP growth in other metropolitan areas in Texas: Midland, Texas at 1.2 percentage points, Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas at 1.1 percentage points, and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas at 1.1 percentage points.