“Immense growth” makes Bay Area world’s 19th-largest economy

We’re number 19! And in the case of the Bay Area’s booming economy, that’s impressive, according to a new report released Tuesday that detailed the region’s “immense growth.”

If the Bay Area happened to be its own independent nation, it would command the 19th-largest economy in the world, stated Tuesday’s report from the Bay Area Council’s Economic Institute.

And the nine-county region’s dynamic economy is on the upswing in a big way, according to the Economic Institute. In 2014, the last time such a comparison to the economic output of other nations was released by the local experts, the Bay Area ranked No. 21.

During those few years, the Bay Area has jumped ahead of oil kingdom Saudi Arabia and financial and vacation hub Switzerland. With its current No. 19 ranking, this region is chasing down prominent players such as The Netherlands, Turkey and Indonesia.

“The Bay Area has emerged from the Great Recession to enter a new period of immense growth and innovation,” the Economic Institute reported in the study, which is the 10th economic profile issued by the organization.

The economy in the Bay Area, as measured by gross domestic product, produces a yearly economic output valued at $748 billion. By comparison, No. 18 The Netherlands, has a GDP of $822 billion, while No. 20 Switzerland comes in at $686 billion. The United States, which by far still wields the world’s largest economy, has an annual economic output valued at $16.77 trillion.

Silicon Valley, fueled by its game-changing tech giants and digital startups, has evolved into the primary engine that drives the Bay Area’s remarkable growth, according to the report and this news organization’s assessment of state labor data.

Over the one-year period that ended in May, total payroll jobs grew by 3.2 percent in Santa Clara County, which far outstripped the 2.3 percent growth in the Bay Area.

The pecking order continues at the state and national levels: California’s job market is expanding at 1.8 percent a year, while the United States is growing at 1.6 percent a year — half the pace of the South Bay.

The conclusion one can draw seems inescapable: Silicon Valley is an economic engine rather than a caboose.

The Bay Area’s surge in the global economic rankings comes at the same time that California has become the 5th largest economy in the world, recently passing the United Kingdom. As recently as 2012, California had fallen to as low as 10th largest.

Nevertheless, forbidding signs have emerged amid the boom times.

“In spite of being home to the spectacular economic engine of the Bay Area, the state of California also has the highest levels of real poverty and child poverty in the nation,” the report stated. “Many of the Bay Area’s residents are housing cost burdened, and homelessness has increased.”

Despite these red flags, few signs have emerged that the boom will end any time soon.

“The Bay Area economy is still currently on the upswing, rather than having reached a peak or started a decline,” the report stated, even though the rocket-like trajectories of the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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