The 2014 gross domestic product (GDP) numbers for metropolitan areas were recently released and they tell a mixed story for Kansas City’s economy.
Kansas City’s economy grew 2 percent between 2013 and 2014. By comparison, the U.S. economy grew 2.4 percent. Both are modest figures, but better than the 1 percent increase we experienced in 2013.
2014 GDP Chart
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis
While 2 percent represents a solid and sustainable growth rate, it is a little disappointing for a couple of reasons. Out of the 53 largest metros in the country, Kansas City ranks 30th. (Dallas-Ft. Worth led the way with an 8.5 percent growth rate). Also, earlier employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Kansas City adding jobs at a faster pace than the nation, so we expected to see our GDP growth rate outpace the U.S., too.
Regardless of how we compare the U.S. or other metros, our GDP growth reflects a stable metro economy. So far in 2015 we have seen evidence that our economy is gaining steam (good employment numbers, increased construction activity, etc.) With this data in mind, we are confident that this modest upward trend will grow stronger in the future.