Growth bests most cities
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Pittsburgh's economy grew faster last year than those of most of the nation's other large metropolitan areas, according to statistics released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area's output grew enough to improve from ranking as the nation's 24th largest gross domestic product in 2009 to 22nd in 2010.
The region's GDP, which is the measure of all of the goods and services produced here, was $115.7 billion last year. That's a 4.1 percent increase from 2009 to 2010 based on inflation adjusted dollars, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and was better than the average 2.5 percent growth for all of the metropolitan areas.
Breaking out comparisons by market, the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill area of North and South Carolina may still have a US Airways hub, but Pittsburgh passed that region in terms of economic output last year. Charlotte fell from the 23rd place to 24th.
The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla., area also fell, slipping from 22nd to 23rd.
Pittsburgh's new ranking moves it back to where it stood in 2001 and 2003. In 2002, the area surged to 21st place.
Of the nation's 10 largest metropolitan areas, the only markets with higher rates of growth were Boston, which saw a 4.8 percent gain, and New York City, which includes parts of Long Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The New York region's economy measures almost $1.3 trillion and grew from 2009 to 2010 by 4.7 percent.
For all the talk of Pittsburgh's weakening manufacturing sector and growing health care sector, in 2010 manufacturing accounted for $13.1 billion of the region's economy while health care was worth $11.4 billion.
The production of goods, which includes construction and utilities in the commerce department statistics, accounted for $19.7 billion.
Real estate sales, rental and leasing accounted for $15.1 billion. Financial activities, including securities trading and insurance, accounted for $9.1 billion of the economy. Educational services made up $2.8 billion.
First Published September 14, 2011 12:00 am