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Bay Area economy stabilizing

After the negative predictions of the UCLA Anderson Forecast that I wrote about yesterday, I thought that it might be nice to present positive information from a Brookings Institution report released today. A KQED Radio sound-bite got me searching.

Although the recession has hit the Bay Area harder than most metropolitan areas, Alan Berube, co-author of the Brookings report, said that some data suggest that the economic output in the Bay Area is recovering faster than in most other metropolitan areas studied. If the recovery of economic output continues in the Bay Area, it will help stop the job cuts and stabilize the local unemployment picture, according to Berube. The Brookings study used data on unemployment, wages, housing, and industrial output to examine the effect of the recession upon the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

The study found that the recession has been mildest in Texas, Oaklahoma, and Louisiana, with energy-based economies, and hardest on locales in California, Florida, and Nevada, which had the largest housing “bubbles.”

The study also looked at “gross metropolitan product,” defined as the sum total of all goods and service produced in each area, from fourth quarter 2008 to the first quarter of 2009, and compared the contraction of each regional economy against the national average decline of 1.6%. The economy of metropolitan San Jose was essentially FLAT during the period, the study’s seventh-best showing, and in San Francisco, output declined by just 0.3%, 16th best among the 100 metropolitan regions studied.

Berube said that every regional economic recovery starts with a rebound in gross metropolitan product, suggesting that the Bay Area may be close to turning the corner.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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