Finance is driving economic growth in the Providence areaSeptember 17th, 2013 at 2:02 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Five years after the financial crisis, Providence’s economic rebound is being driven by … finance.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its annual report on economic growth for the nation’s 381 metropolitan areas on Tuesday, and found that the Providence-Fall River-New Bedford metro economy grew 1.7% in 2012, with the total value of local goods and services last year pegged at $69.53 billion.
That’s a significantly faster pace of growth than the 0.3% increase that the Providence area eked out in 2011, though it still fell below the average growth of 2.5% for all metropolitan areas as well as the 2.3% growth in the Boston region for 2012.
One of the most interesting things about the report is what it tells us about what’s driving economic growth in the Providence region. In short: it’s not “meds and eds,” it’s finance and professional services.
Here’s a chart showing how many percentage points each sector added or subtracted to last year’s 1.7%:
(Note that five other industries aren’t broken out by the BEA because doing so could disclose confidential information about specific companies. Those five are natural resources and mining; construction; durable-goods manufacturing; trade; and transportation and utilities. But their contributions are included in the 1.7% total.)
The Providence-Fall River-New Bedford region includes all of Rhode Island plus Bristol County, Mass. The Providence region had the 43rd-largest economy among the 381 U.S. metropolitan areas in 2012, according to the BEA, but its rate of growth ranked much lower: 182nd. Here’s the picture across New England:
• Related: A rare down year at Lifespan hospital group, RI’s largest private employer (July 25)