South and Southwest to Remain Regional Macroeconomic Growth Winners in 2020

Mar 30, 2020 | News, Newsletter

Dave Robinson
The Montrose Group, LLC

 

 

While the United States remains a global economic powerhouse, not all regions of the United States are created equally from an economic development standpoint, and the South and Southwest will remain regional macroeconomic growth leaders this year based upon the analysis of the Montrose Group for what trends are apparent for corporate site location in 2020.  Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the second quarter of 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The % change in real GDP in the second quarter ranged from 4.7 % in Texas to 0.5 % in Hawaii.

Professional, scientific, and technical services; government; real estate and rental and leasing; and mining were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP nationally, and  mining increased 23.5 % for the nation and was the leading contributor to the increases in Texas, Wyoming, Alaska, and New Mexico—the fastest growing states.  Professional, scientific, and technical services increased 7.4 % for the nation and contributed to growth in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Government increased 3.1 % for the nation and contributed to growth in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Real estate and rental and leasing increased 2.6 % for the nation and contributed to growth in 49 states and the District of Columbia.  Wholesale trade decreased 6.7 % for the nation, subtracting from growth in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Wholesale trade was the leading contributor to slow growth in Hawaii, Maine, and New Jersey – the slowest growing states.

The Southern and Southwest regions of the United States illustrate long-term economic growth trends far stronger than the population rich East Coast and industrial Midwest regions.

As the table above illustrates, both mid-sized cities and mega-cities (ten largest cities in the United States) illustrate strong private sector job growth in recent years.  The trend of Southern and Southwestern regional growth is strengthened by the table below that outlines regional GDP growth.  This trend is further confirmed when these same regions are compared from a growth in GDP standpoint.  The Southern cities of Nashville, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Dallas, Austin, Raleigh-Durham and Atlanta continue to illustrate substantial economic growth compared to the anemic, high-cost East Coast and many struggling Midwestern Industrial regions. To further illustrate the growth prospects for the Western and Southern states are projections for future job creation in 2020 as outlined in the chart below.

In 2020, economic growth prospects for the Southern states will be driven by continued manufacturing strength and the West Coast success in the tech sector will continue economic success for these regions compared to their Midwestern and East Coast competitors.

Capitalizing on rural corporate site location opportunities

Rural communities are prime targets for companies considering a corporate site location project. Rural areas in the U.S. cover 97 % of the nation’s land area but contain 19.3 % of the population who are more likely to own a single family home, are older and less likely to hold a bachelor’s degree or be in poverty than their urban counters.

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AEP Names Wells Vice President, Sales, Economic and Business Development

American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) has promoted Timothy J. Wells to vice president, Sales, Economic and Business Development, effective Nov. 2, 2020. Wells replaces Mark James who retired last month.

Wells, 55, will lead AEP’s efforts to attract new commercial and industrial customers to its service territory and help existing customers take advantage of AEP’s growing menu of business consultation services. AEP has unique expertise in the energy field and has become a trusted energy advisor to many of its larger customers. Wells will be responsible for leading growth in services that fall outside of the distribution and transmission of electricity, in addition to helping communities bring new jobs to their local economies.

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