Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reading Migration Tea Leaves

Thanks to Aaron Renn's Twitter feed, I'm aware that the US Bureau of Economic Analysis has released its latest metropolitan area GDP report. You can click on the map below to get a better look at how your city did.

I note a swath of relatively good news stretching from Columbus, Ohio to Washington, DC. This is the exception to the Rust Belt rule that the Bureau mentions as "particularly hard" hit. Looking more closely at the Pittsburgh GDP numbers (Millions of Dollars):

2006: 103,504
2007: 108,386
2008: 111,738
2009: 111,597

Pittsburgh's metro economy contracted slightly from 2008 to 2009. I expect 2010 will be a return to growth and surpass the 2008 peak. I'll be interested to see how Pittsburgh compares in terms of recovery. We already know that Pittsburgh fared well during the recession. But the speed with which the region leaves its nadir will have a lot to say about the ability to attract migrants searching for opportunity.

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