News release: “The nation’s cities are struggling more economically in 2013 than they did in 2012, according to a report done by IHS Global Insight for The U.S. Conference of Mayors. The report findings show that one-third (119) of the nation’s 363 U.S. metropolitan areas — cities and their surrounding suburbs — will see stagnant or declining economies this year. That number has increased significantly since last year, when only one-fifth (73) of U.S. metros experienced no growth. Released today from the USCM headquarters in Washington, D.C., the report (available at www.usmayors.org) also shows that while two-thirds (244) of U.S. metropolitan areas will see some measure of economic expansion in 2013, almost 40 percent of the cities/metros will grow by only 1 percent or less.
“This report makes clear how critical metropolitan areas are to our nation’s economy and ongoing recovery. Cites and their metro economies account for over 90% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP); nearly 86% of the nation’s population; and almost 86% of all jobs. So if our metro areas aren’t doing well, the entire country suffers,” said USCM President Mesa (AZ) Mayor Scott Smith. “Because the recovery is still very fragile, we cannot afford manufactured crises like sequestration, the debt ceiling battle and the federal government shutdown. So it is important that Washington not return to dysfunction, which has real economic consequences in our cities and on Main Street,” Smith continued. While the economic outlook for metro areas in the U.S. is not outstanding, the report also shows that the economic output of many of this country’s metros remains stronger than that of some foreign countries. For example, of the world’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, 36 of them belong to the United States. New York ranks as the 13th largest economy in the world, followed by Los Angeles 20th, and Chicago 23rd, and Houston 30th. And the Phoenix-Mesa metro economy is the 65th largest economy in the world, with over $201.7 billion of economic output annually — bigger than the economies of Peru, or New Zealand.”