Tucson economy: GDP growth improves but still lags peers


The Tucson Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) generated inflation-adjusted GDP growth of 3.6% in 2018. That growth ranked Tucson eighth out of 12 comparable western MSAs. Tucson’s growth was just behind the state’s rate of 4.1% but ahead of the nation. GDP growth in Tucson over the past two years was a vast improvement over the negative or slow growth posted since the Great Recession. GDP is important to a region because it provides information on the value of goods and services produced by labor and property. It is also one key measure of income flows to factors of production, like labor and capital. When adjusting GDP for inflation it tells us how economic output is growing (or not) over time. Further, GDP provides key information on the industrial mix of a region, so that we know what sectors are larger or smaller. For example, GDP related to government activity is unusually large in Tucson when compared to the state or nation.

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