Growth in OKC economy outpaces nation's average

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

by Paul Monies

The Oklahoman

The economy in Oklahoma's two largest metropolitan areas outpaced national growth in 2013, according to figures released Tuesday from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Oklahoma City's metro area economy grew 3.9 percent from 2012 to 2013, the bureau said in its analysis of gross domestic product. Tulsa's metro economy grew 3.5 percent. On average, the nation's metro areas grew 1.7 percent in that period.

Growth in the metro areas of Lawton and Fort Smith, Ark. — which includes parts of eastern Oklahoma — was more in line with the national average. The Lawton area's economy grew 1.7 percent, while Fort Smith's grew 1.8 percent from 2012 to 2013.

After accounting for inflation, gross domestic product — the broadest measure of goods and services — increased in 292 of the nation's 381 metro areas, the bureau said.

The Oklahoma City metro ranked 56th for growth from 2012 to 2013, while Tulsa came in at No. 68. Fort Smith was 169th and Lawton was No. 175.

Eric Long, research economist with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, said Oklahoma City is one of three large metro areas that had GDP growth in excess of 3.5 percent in each of the last three years. The others are Houston and Charlotte, N.C.

“It's a really good club to be in,” Long said.

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