GDP Growth

  • What is this?

    GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, measures the size of the region's economy.

  • Why does it matter?

    Tracking GDP enables us to see whether our economy is growing, and how fast.

  • Who is responsible?

    GDP is driven by everyone who contributes to the regional economy, whether we work for business or government. The City and County governments support this growth by maintaining the infrastructure (City) and educational system (County) that support local productivity.

  • How do we measure performance?

    We look at whether GDP is growing and how quickly, compared to the nation as a whole.

How is GDP calculated?

We use regional GDP data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). To calculate regional GDP, the BEA measures the dollar value of the finished goods and services that our region produces. Regions are used instead of city boundaries because they more accurately reflect the dynamic nature of economic activity. Cities and their surrounding suburbs are so tightly integrated economically that trying to measure the economic output of a single municipality within a region would be like trying to measure the contribution that a single organ makes to the growth of the human body.

GDP is commonly reported in one of two ways: in "current dollars" or as "real GDP." We have chosen to display the data for "real GDP," which takes a given year's GDP data and adjusts it to remove the effect of inflation. "Real GDP" enables us to more reliably assess whether our economy is producing more goods and services from one year to the next.

What is the state of Memphis's GDP growth?

The Memphis region's GDP has grown steadily since 2009. However, the region's recovery from recession has been slower than the nation as a whole.

How is the City of Memphis working to support the region's economic growth?

Region's economic growth support

The most direct way that the City of Memphis supports the region's economic growth is by partnering with Shelby County to provide coordinated institutional leadership for regional economic development. The City and County achieve that coordination through EDGE, the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis & Shelby County. EDGE manages the area's Regional Economic Development Plan and a portfolio of organizations and programs that includes the Port of Memphis, Foreign Trade Zone 77, economic gardening programs, growth financing programs, and tax incentives. Through EDGE, the City advocates for job growth and business growth in the Memphis region.

The City of Memphis also supports economic growth indirectly by maintaining the infrastructure that supports the flow of people and goods throughout the regional economy. The City of Memphis Public Works and Engineering divisions maintain our local roadways and signaling; current projects are aimed at modernizing our traffic signaling to improve efficiency; increasing the resurfacing/restriping rate to bettermaintain road condition and safety, and growing Memphis's bicycle network to increase commuting options and reduce collisions. Our key service delivery partners, MATA (Memphis Area Transit Authority) and MLGW (Memphis Light, Gas and Water) maintain our public transit system and our utilities. MATA's Short Range Transit Plan and MLGW's Strategic Plan detail the projects they have undertaken for the current five-year cycle.

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