The Charlotte metro area moved up from being the 22nd largest metro economy to the 21st largest last year, according to data on 2016 Metropolitan GDP released last week by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In 2015, the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area generated a gross GDP dollar value of $136 billion, making it the 22nd largest metropolitan economy. In 2016, the metro’s total economic output rose to $140.8 billion, an increase of 3.4%. That growth put the Charlotte economy just barely over the St. Louis metro area’s economy, which had formerly been the 21st largest with a 2016 GDP of $140.7 billion.
Charlotte has been catching up to sluggish St. Louis for years. Only three years ago, in 2013, the St. Louis economy was larger than Charlotte’s by more than $10 billion.
Charlotte’s metro economy has posted large growth rates over the past 5 years, hitting as high as 4.5 percent in 2015. Meanwhile in North Carolina, Raleigh grew by 5.3 percent from 2015 to 2016 to a GDP of $70.7 billion. That earns Raleigh a ranking of 42nd, climbing up two spots from the previous year.
According to the BEA data, the professional and business services sector contributed the most to Charlotte’s 2016 growth, accounting for nearly a full percentage point of that growth. The rest of the growth was primarily driven by finance, insurance and real estate, information technology, construction, and trade, while the manufacturing sectors saw a year-over-year decline in output.
Here are the complete 2016 GDP rankings for the top 100 US Metro Areas: