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Published: Saturday, 2/23/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Metro area GDP growth is 120th out of 366 nationally; Monroe’s 324th at -1.4%

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Gross domestic product in metro Toledo rose 1.6 percent in 2011, the fourth-fastest growth rate among top metro areas in Ohio, according to a report released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

GDP is the sum of goods and services produced in the area.

The metro Toledo GDP growth rate ranked 120th out of 366 metro areas nationwide. Nationwide, all metro areas combined averaged 1.6 percent growth in 2011.

According to the report, GDP in metro Toledo totaled $23.9 billion in 2011 with the biggest reported gains coming in the durable goods and nondurable goods manufacturing sectors. Durable goods, which are long-lasting products such as automobiles, rose 0.7 percent in 2001, while nondurable goods, such as food or clothing, rose 0.5 percent.

Metro Toledo’s 1.6 percent growth in GDP was a sizable decrease from the hefty 5 percent growth rate in 2010. But George Mokrzan, chief economist for Huntington Bancshares Inc.’s private financial group, said the 2010 figure was a turnaround from negative GDP (-6 percent) in 2009, and going forward, smaller increases are to be expected as the economy expands slowly.

“We’re looking at the economic expansion that really began in 2009, so that 2011 number is an indication on how the economic recovery was progressing. It was an important time because it took time for the recovery to take hold. That 2011 number is a number closer to what is sustainable,” Mr. Mokrzan said.

“But looking at other indicators, Toledo has done well, especially in unemployment. It had a 1.1 percent jobless rate drop last year. Toledo went from just above the U.S. rate to a touch below at the end of the year,” Mr. Mokrzan said. “That’s a pretty darn good economic performance compared to the recent history we’ve had.”

The fastest-growing GDP among Ohio metro areas belonged to Canton, whose 2.9 percent growth rate ranked 50th nationwide. Youngstown was 59th at 2.6 percent, followed by Sandusky, 69th at 2.4 percent, Toledo, Cleveland, 128th at 1.5 percent, Dayton, 144th at 1.2 percent, Columbus 169th at 0.9 percent, Cincinnati, 183rd at 0.7 percent, and Akron, 221st at 0.3 percent.

In southeast Michigan, Monroe’s GDP was 324th at minus 1.4 percent.

The top metro areas nationwide in 2011 were Odessa, Texas, at 15.2 percent; Midland, Texas, at 9.5 percent, and Williamsport, Pa., at 9.1 percent. All three areas are benefiting from the nation’s oil and gas boom.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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