Snapshots

Philadelphia’s 20.2 percent GDP growth since 2012 ranks 6th among large metros

Between 2012 and 2017, the Philadelphia MSA’s gross domestic product grew 20.2 percent.

April 02, 2019
  • Between 2012 and 2017, the Philadelphia MSA’s gross domestic product grew 20.2 percent. Among the top 10 largest metropolitan GDP’s, Philadelphia’s growth ranks sixth, growing faster than the regions of New York, Chicago, D.C., and Houston, but slightly slower than the Top 10 metro area average rate of 22.8 percent.
  • Not surprisingly, Sun Belt and West Coast cities (except Houston) experienced faster economic growth. The tech explosion out west helped drive the higher growth rates there, while Philly’s East Coast peers are rooted in more traditional sectors such as finance, media, and government and experienced slower GDP growth. The data show no particular correlation between an economy’s size and its rate of growth: Philly and Boston’s comparably sized GDP’s both grew faster than New York’s much larger output. GDP does track more closely but not precisely with MSA population: Philadelphia’s MSA has the 8th largest GDP but is the 7th most populous.
  • Greater Philadelphia’s economic output is no slouch, but recent headlines give reasons for cautious optimism that our GDP star could rise further: VC investment hit a record high in 2018, M&A activity is up, out-of-market tenants are planting flags, and major occupiers are mulling new headquarters construction. The question for 2019 will be whether these success stories grow and multiply, or prove out to be isolated wins.

    Source: JLL Research, Bureau of Economic Analysis

 

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