KC’s Modest Growth Rates Persist in Latest GDP Data
By Jeff Pinkerton
New local area Gross Domestic Product numbers for 2013 were released recently, and the Kansas City metro continues to show positive — but modest — economic growth. The metro’s economy expanded 1.4 percent in real terms between 2012 and 2013. The U.S. economy grew 1.8 percent over the same period.
The chart below takes a longer-term look at regional economic growth relative to the U.S. The metro has experienced an overall slower growth rate relative to the nation since 2001.
On a per-capita basis, the Kansas City metro looks much better. Our per-capita GDP is approaching $54,000 in 2009 dollars. This is well above the national level of $49,115.
The takeaway from all of this? Kansas City continues to boast a strong economy with greater economic output per-capita than the nation. However, our recent economic performance shows us that our edge might be eroding somewhat. If the end of the recession signaled the start of a new economic race, it is fair to say we stumbled off of the starting line. But the race is long and our economy has proven to be resilient. We will see in future years if we are able to close the gap — or better yet, move ahead of the pack.