How Strong is your Region's Economy?

Posted | by Chris Finn

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, a division of the US Dept. of Commerce, recently released 2015 data for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for metropolitan areas (MSAs). While the I-77 Alliance region does not represent a single, unique metro area, York & Chester Counties fall into the Charlotte, NC MSA and Fairfield & Richland Counties are in the Columbia, SC MSA, being represented by these two provide a broad economic picture of our region. Click here to view the latest release with national context and data for all MSAs

South Carolina, and the two metro areas in the Alliance region both outpaced the national 2014 – 2015 growth rate. (All numbers in this post are in millions of US dollars)

  • United States: $16,204,029, 3.8% growth over 2014
  • South Carolina: $198,714, 4.8% growth over 2014
  • Columbia, SC MSA: $38,370, 4.8% growth over 2014
  • Charlotte, NC MSA: $152,447, 7.2% growth over 2014

It wasn’t just year-over-year growth that’s impressive, but from 2013 – 2015 compared against our benchmark communities, both Columbia & Charlotte MSA GDP growth is substantial.

 GDP Benchmarks

So what was leading this growth and which are the largest sectors? The table below details each of these components for South Carolina, Columbia, & Charlotte. While it is detailed in the footnote, it should be mentioned again, Charlotte's data for the Finance sector was not released and looking at previous year's data, would have likely been its largest component in 2015.

 GDP Chart

If you have any familiarity at all with these geographies the composition of these grouping should not be of any surprise. It's good to see that the metro areas that cover the I-77 Alliance region are comprised of strong economies and are growing in sectors critical to their future success.