Was 2019 the Final Year of a Dominant Decade for the Bay Area?

Newly released data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis for 2019 reveals a slowing GDP picture for the region, one that is expected to slow even further in 2020. Nine-county GDP grew by 4.0% in 2019, down from 5.3% in 2018 and 6.8% in 2017. The region’s performance for the year was still comparatively strong, as only Seattle (+5.1%), Riverside (+4.5%), and Sacramento (+4.5%) metro areas outpaced the Bay Area (+4.0%). San Francisco County did top the list in terms of GDP growth by county, tied with King County, WA (where Seattle is located), both showing 5.8% GDP growth.

This may be the final piece of positive economic data for the region, as it concludes a decade of rapid growth. While the long-term economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will take months to fully reveal themselves, lower apartment rental prices, high office vacancy rates, a slow initial job recovery, small business closures, and a wave of companies announcing moves out of the region foreshadow a more difficult economic future for the Bay Area. The Bay Area Council is pushing to address the state’s and region’s business climate, and the Economic Institute will continue to track data points that shed light on the region’s trajectory. Learn more at www.bayareaprofile.com.

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