Lehigh Valley’s Record GDP Featured in Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal
By Colin McEvoy on November 26, 2018
A story about the Lehigh Valley economy written by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) and was featured in the October 12-25, 2018 issue of the Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal. The online version of that story can be found here. An excerpt can be found below.
The Lehigh Valley’s gross domestic product has reached a record-high $40.1 billion, with much of the economic growth driven by the region’s thriving manufacturing sector, according to newly-released federal data.
The $40.1 billion regional GDP for 2017 is about a 5% increase over the previous year, and growth in manufacturing was responsible for about 36 percent of that year-over-year growth, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
“The Lehigh Valley is unique among major metropolitan areas in the United States in that manufacturing is driving such a large percentage of its growth,” said Don Cunningham, President & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). “Manufacturing is clearly alive and well in the Lehigh Valley, and our regional GDP is the largest it’s ever been, far surpassing even the days of Bethlehem Steel.”
Manufacturing makes up $7.4 billion – or 18.4 percent – of the Lehigh Valley’s overall $40.1 billion GDP. That’s a much higher percentage than its share of the national economy. Manufacturing is 11.6 percent of the U.S. economy, according to the BEA.
Manufacturing was also the fastest-growing economic sector for 2017 in terms of economic output. Its $7.4 billion GDP was an increase of $700 million (10.4 percent) compared to 2016. No other sector had a larger year-over-year percentage increase.
That means manufacturing in the Lehigh Valley grew at a faster pace than transportation and warehousing, which saw the second-largest year-over-year jump. That sector, with a $2.1 billion GDP, grew at a rate of 8.8 percent compared to 2016.
“Contrary to the misnomer that big box warehousing and fulfillment centers are driving growth in the Lehigh Valley economy, manufacturing far surpasses it in economic output and growth,” Cunningham said. “That’s a testament to both the strength of manufacturing in the Lehigh Valley, and the balanced and diversified makeup of the overall economy.”
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