By James Clary,
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the 2009 estimates for Gross Regional Product (GRP) for metropolitan areas throughout the nation. The 2009 GRP for Hampton Roads increased to $79.6 billion, a 1.67% increase over 2008. This most recent release included revised estimates that indicated a higher degree of economic activity in 2007 and 2008. The Hampton Roads economy is now considered to be the 35th largest metropolitan economy (the region was 38th last year), surpassing Austin, TX, Bridgeport, CT, and Hartford, CT.
When adjusted for inflation, the BEA report shows that the region’s economy experienced anemic growth from 2007 to 2008, and shrunk in 2009. The decline was driven by contractions in construction (-0.49%), transportation and utilities (-0.35%) and leisure & hospitality (-0.29%). The only category where Hampton Roads saw significant growth in its contribution to GDP was Financial Activities (0.64%).