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Phoenix metro GDP 9th-fastest growing in U.S.Phoenix metro GDP 9th-fastest growing in U.S.<div class="ExternalClass2BAD2C4DD818463AAEAFE4D0A760B3FC"><div>The Phoenix metro area tied as the ninth-fastest growing economy among the Top 25 metros with a solid 2.6 percent growth in its gross domestic product in 2016 over 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economy Analysis.</div><div><br></div><div>Phoenix out-paced the nation’s 1.5 percent growth rate. The BEA said Phoenix increased its GDP by more than $5.2 billion in 2016 over 2015. Since 2011, the economy grew an average of $3.9 billion per year.</div><div><br></div><div>“We’ve been working to build a more resilient 21st century economy that relies less on real estate and sprawl and more on innovation and exports,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “Those efforts are paying dividends. The main drivers of our current strong growth are now advanced industries like technology, biosciences, healthcare, financial services and precision manufacturing.”</div><div><br></div><div>More than 70 percent of the Valley’s private sector economic growth came in advanced industries. Construction, real estate, retail and warehousing contributed less than a third of the metro area’s economic growth. Government contributed 3 percent to the GDP growth.</div><div><br></div><div>This marks a milestone of economic achievement since before the Great Recession, when real estate, construction and retail comprised more than half the metro area’s economic growth.</div><div><br></div><div>The strong GDP performance in 2016 came on the heels of news from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that the Phoenix metro had the fastest wage growth in the U.S. among metro areas, posting a 7.6 percent wage gain in July 2017 over July 2016. Sept. 14, The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity employment report for August 2017 showed the Phoenix metro with more than 60 percent of the workforce in advanced industry sectors, a jump from less than 50 percent in the industries in 2007.</div><div><br></div><div>”Between 2011 and 2015, the Valley has averaged around $3.9 billion in annual economic growth,” said Christine Mackay, director, Phoenix Community and Economic Development. “Last year, the economy grew by $5.2 billion in constant dollars. With the bulk of that growth in advanced industries, Phoenix is growing with a more sustainable economy.”</div><div><br></div><div>”Constant dollars” are a measure economists use to account for inflation over time in order to generate accurate year-to-year comparisons.</div><div><br></div><div>The data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said that Phoenix tied as the 9th-fastest-growing economy among the top 25 metro areas. The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area ranks 12th in metro area population.</div><div><br></div><div>A year ago, while predicting above average economic growth for Arizona, former Citibank CEO Eugene McQuade and other local economists projected a 2.2 percent to 2.5 percent growth rate for the Valley against a projected 2 percent U.S. growth rate. The Valley outpaced the projection and the national economy faltered.</div><div><br></div><div>“People in the streets, standing room at bars, cranes in the air,” said McQuade in his keynote to the Salt River Project-Phoenix Business Journal 2017 Economic Forum. “That is something I look for in any city I visit because it is a measure of opportunity stronger than risk worries. Things look strong in Arizona.”</div><div><br></div><div>McQuade and other local economists projected Phoenix economic growth to fall between 2.2 percent and 2.5 percent; Phoenix and its 2.6 percent GDP growth, slightly outpaced the optimistic end of the projections. The U.S. economic growth rate of 1.5 percent fell well below the projected 2 percent growth rate for the nation in 2016.</div><div><br></div><div>Throughout 2016, global trade was a major factor contributing to the economic growth for the market. U.S. Census Bureau reported Arizona exports were strong and the state was one of nine with a trade surplus for the year. A trade surplus occurs when the value of exports exceeds the value of imports for the economy.</div></div>9/28/2017 7:00:00 AMEric Jay TollEric Jay Toll602-617-3797