data Center - Economy

GDP Rises More than 3 Percent as Exports, Businesses and Patents All Increase.

  • The GDP of the Memphis MSA is a measure of the goods and services produced locally. As the local economy expands, employment and income opportunities are generated for residents. Typically, growth rates that become negative for more than a few quarters are indicators of a recession— local recessions can occur independent of national economic trends.

 

  • Positive GDP growth indicates that the economy is expanding. The stronger the growth rate, the more rapidly the local economy is growing. The Memphis MSA economy has grown steadily since 2009, and grew 3.08 percent in 2017 over 2016. Strong growth in exports over the past 10 years (64.15 percent) indicates that the globalization of the Memphis economy is a reality. Most of the local economy, however, continues to be associated with domestic markets and is impacted directly by domestic economic growth.

 

  • GDP growth comparisons for the last 5 years indicate that Memphis grew by 12.62 percent while the nation and Tennessee grew by 20.09 percent and 24.05 percent respectively. Among the comparison MSAs, Memphis ranked 12th in terms of 5-year GDP growth, beating out Little Rock, New Orleans, and Tulsa.

 

  • In terms of exports, Memphis shrank by nearly 3.0 percent over the last 5 years. In comparison, Little Rock had grown in excess of 100 percent (109.66 percent) while Nashville’s exports grew by 60.92 percent in the same time frame. Memphis ranked tenth of the comparison cities and performed substantially better than Indianapolis, Tulsa, Kansas City, Greensboro, and St. Louis.

 

  • In terms of business formations, the county data indicate that Shelby County grew by 7.68 percent over the last 5 years, somewhat slower than the rate for Tennessee in general (11.4 percent). Of the comparison cities, Memphis ranked 12th, beating Cincinnati, Greensboro, Little Rock, and Louisville.

 

  • Patents reflect the growth of innovative activities in a local community. The presence of a strong medical university, a number of powerful medical research hospitals, St. Jude, several globally important medical companies, along with an industry leader in FedEx, create a strong sector for patent development. Memphis patents increased by 10.14 percent over the last 5 years (through 2015) while the national rate of growth was 35.88 percent and the Tennessee growth rate was 8.96 percent.


Peer Metros Comparison

GDP

5-Year % Change

United States 20.09%
Tennessee 24.05%
Shelby county NA    
Memphis City, TN NA    
    
Nashville 41.70%
Charlotte 30.57%
Louisville 29.01%
Jacksonville 26.81%
Kansas City 22.96%
Omaha 22.51%
Indianapolis 19.82%
Cincinnati 18.22%
St. Louis 16.33%
Oklahoma City 15.84%
Birmingham 15.33%
Greensboro 12.81%
Memphis 12.62%
Little Rock 10.07%
Tulsa 8.52%
New Orleans 2.28%

Exports

5-Year % Change

United States NA
Tennessee NA
Shelby county NA
Memphis City, TN NA

Little Rock 109.66%
Charlotte 91.01%
Nashville 60.92%
New Orleans 45.15%
Cincinnati 40.45%
Omaha 32.04%
Louisville 15.34%
Indianapolis 0.99%
Memphis -2.92%
Greensboro -7.98%
Jacksonville -9.48%
Kansas City -15.69%
Oklahoma City -20.89%
Birmingham -21.53%
Tulsa -24.35%
St. Louis -32.18%

Patents

5-Year % Change

United States 35.88%
Tennessee 8.96%
Shelby County 7.81%
Memphis, City TN NA

Louisville 88.68%
Omaha 72.82%
Kansas City 49.72%
Indianapolis 48.48%
Charlotte 45.95%
New Orleans 34.00%
Greensboro 32.50%
Oklahoma City 29.17%
Birmingham 21.74%
Jacksonville 20.24%
Tulsa 14.47%
Cincinnati 13.17%
Nashville 12.24%
Memphis 10.14%
St. Louis 8.04%
Little Rock 5.17%

Businesses

5-Year % County Change

United States 9.88%
Tennessee 12.84%
Shelby county 8.61%
Memphis City, TN NA
            
Charlotte 36.00%
Nashville 26.39%
St. Louis 15.79%
Oklahoma City 14.20%
Kansas City 11.86%
Omaha 10.19%
New Orleans 10.18%
Indianapolis 9.24%
Jacksonville 9.12%
Tulsa 8.32%
Birmingham 7.93%
Memphis 7.84%
Cincinnati 5.91%
Louisville 3.38%
Little Rock 1.43%
Greensboro -0.54%

Missing values due to data availability, reporting, or changes in geographic definitions



Exports by Peer MSAs
MSA 2016 Total 1-Year % Change 5-Year % Change 10-Year % Change
Memphis  $   11,628,736,176 -1.61% -2.92% 64.15%
Birmingham  $      1,870,191,001 4.41% -21.53% 147.98%
Charlotte  $   11,944,091,248 -14.60% 91.01% 185.53%
Cincinnati  $   26,326,206,905 9.12% 40.45% 107.16%
Greensboro  $      3,730,449,602 13.52% -7.98% 1.27%
Indianapolis  $      9,655,444,522 -1.57% 0.99% 31.54%
Jacksonville  $      2,159,011,544 -15.81% -9.48% 49.32%
Kansas City  $      6,709,772,018 -0.20% -15.69% 18.10%
Little Rock  $      1,870,989,599 5.26% 109.66% 49.68%
Louisville  $      7,793,298,620 -3.04% 15.34% 64.24%
Nashville  $      9,460,137,126 1.15% 60.92% 75.56%
New Orleans  $   29,518,837,296 9.23% 45.15% 339.45%
Oklahoma City  $      1,259,978,679 -6.88% -20.89% 45.00%
Omaha  $      3,509,653,972 -6.49% 32.04% 148.44%
St. Louis  $      8,346,528,095 -6.36% -32.18% -13.17%
Tulsa  $      2,363,025,001 -12.47% -24.35% 5.61%
Source: International Trade Administration, 2017