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Southwest Florida cities drop from top to bottom in GDP rankings

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Out of 366 Nationwide Metropolitan Areas, we're at number 364 in growth! Yikes.

"Naples-Marco Island has slipped further in its rankings for economic growth.

Based on its real economic output, which is adjusted for inflation, the metro area is nearly at the bottom of the list for 2008.

The area dropped to 364th in the nation, with negative growth of 6.6 percent from 2007. Meanwhile, Cape Coral-Fort Myers came in at 361, with a 5.4 percent decline over a year earlier, according to a report released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday.

“It reflects declines particularly in construction and financial activities,” said Ralph Stewart, a bureau spokesman.

Punta Gorda in Charlotte County ranked 347, with a 3.5 percent drop in its economic output.

The report is based on gross domestic product (GDP), or the value of goods and services produced. That can include anything from real estate commissions to restaurant sales.

In 2008, real GDP slowed in 220 of the nation’s 366 metro areas. Real GDP is adjusted to reflect changes in the value of the dollar from year to year.

A few years ago, Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Naples-Marco Island were near the top of the list for economic growth.

In 2005, Cape Coral-Fort Myers was sixth in nation, with an impressive 11.9 percent increase in output from 2004. Naples-Marco Island ranked ninth, with a 10.5 percent increase. Much of that surge in growth was tied to real estate activity and construction, which has slowed to a crawl with a housing slump.

“The housing construction industry was particularly hit bad in this area,” Stewart said.

In Naples-Marco Island, real GDP shrank to $11.5 billion, down from $12.3 billion in 2007. In the construction industry, there was a 2.84 percent decline in real GDP. Decreases were seen in almost every sector, except natural resources and mining, information, and education and health services.

In Cape Coral-Fort Myers, real GDP dropped to $17.3 billion last year, down from $18.3 billion in 2007. Output from construction was down 3.24 percent. Increases were seen in only a few sectors: information, government, and education and health services.

In 2008, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., had the highest per capita real GDP by metro area at $82,880. It was almost twice the national average. The ranking reflects its high concentration of businesses in the information and data processing sectors.

The per-capita rankings are based on total population, divided by the total value of economic output.

Palm Coast, Fla., had the lowest per-capita output of any metro at $11,611, more than 70 percent below the national average.

In the southeastern U.S., real GDP slowed in 65 of 108 metro areas. The steepest decline was seen in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, which contracted $3.3 billion, or 1.5 percent, from 2007.

More information about the study can be found at www.bea.gov."
-- Southwest Florida cities drop from top to bottom in GDP rankings » Naples Daily News

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Southwest Florida cities drop from top to bottom in GDP rankings Out of 366 Nationwide Metropolitan Areas, we're at number 364 in growth!  Yikes.

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