WASHINGTON Feb 22 Metropolitan areas in Texas
saw the fastest economic growth as the recovery took hold in
2011, but the New York City region still had the largest gross
domestic product in the United States, according to federal data
released on Friday.
Altogether, GDP increased in only two-thirds of the U.S.
metropolitan areas, which are defined as at least one major city
and its surrounding suburbs.
Odessa, Texas, experienced the fastest growth in the country
from 2010, 15.2 percent, largely due to expansion in wholesale
and retail trade, the Commerce Department said.
Of the 10 largest areas, the fastest growth was in the Texas
oil hub of Houston, at 3.7 percent, followed by another major
Lone Star-state city, Dallas, at 3.1 percent.
The New York area, which includes parts of Long Island and
northern New Jersey, GDP was $1.28 trillion in 2011, compared
with $1.25 trillion in 2010. The second largest economy, Los
Angeles, which also includes the major port town of Long Beach
and Santa Ana, was nearly half the size of New York's, at
Cities and counties were hit hard by the 2007-09 recession,
scrambling to provide for residents who had recently lost their
jobs or homes just as their major source of revenues - property
taxes - collapsed from the housing downturn.
In 2009, Congress and President Barack Obama stepped in
with an economic stimulus plan that provided the largest
transfer of federal funds to states in U.S. history. Many of the
funds trickled down to cities, which were also able to take
advantage of borrowing programs and grants created in the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Metropolitan GDP growth in total slowed to 1.6 percent in
2011 from 3.1 percent in 2010 as the last of the stimulus money
made its way out of the economy. For the 10 largest areas, which
account for 38.1 percent of the country's metropolitan GDP,
growth slowed to 2 percent in 2011, compared with 3.1 percent in
Professional and business services contributed strongly to
metropolitan growth in 2011, as did manufacturing.
Still, GDP in many places shrank in 2011. The largest
decline was in Sioux City, Iowa, where GDP fell 5.2 percent.
While the California Bay Area cities of San Francisco,
Oakland and Fremont experienced growth of 2.6 percent, most of
its neighbors in the central valley saw declines of at least 0.5
percent. Cities in Florida had patchy performance as well. In
many areas along the state's east coast, GDP shrank or barely
grew, but those along the west coast experienced expansion of at
least 1.3 percent.