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 3.04 percent growth rate for the Memphis MSA for the last year is a strong growth indicator and suggests that the great recession is finally over for Memphis.  Strong growth in exports (7.43 percent) over the 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 indicates that Memphis grew by 14.7 percent while the nation and Tennessee grew by 20 percent and 23.5 percent respectively.  Among the comparison cities, Memphis ranked next to last in terms of 5 year GDP growth.  Only New Orleans grew less than Memphis. 

 

  • In terms of exports, Memphis grew by 6.78 percent over the last 5 years.  By comparison, Charlotte and Little Rock both had growth rates in excess of 100 percent—157.8 and 124.9 percent respectively.  Other cities also grew exports but at lesser rates.  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 indicated 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.  In addition, Shelby County ranked tenth among the comparison cities.  Davidson County ranked number one with 19.04 percent growth.

 

  • Patents reflect the growth of innovative activities in a local community.  Memphis does not perform well when it comes to patents because of the nature of the local economy and the lack of a major science and engineering-research university.  The presence of a strong medical university, a number of powerful medical research hospitals, St. Jude and several globally important medical companies does create a strong sector for patent development.  Memphis patents increased by 10.1 percent over the last 5 years while the national rate of growth was 35.9 percent and the Tennessee growth rate was 8.96 percent. 

Peer Metros Comparison

GDP

5-Year % Change

United States 19.80%
Tennessee 24.92%
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

Charlotte 157.82%
Little Rock 124.94%
New Orleans 93.51%
Omaha 80.51%
Nashville 62.70%
Cincinnati 37.10%
Jacksonville 32.15%
Louisville 29.90%
Oklahoma City 13.12%
Memphis 6.78%
Birmingham 6.13%
Indianapolis 3.84%
Tulsa -1.54%
Kansas City -8.83%
Greensboro -18.01%
St. Louis -20.69%

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 9.53%
Tennessee 12.12%
Shelby county 8.08%
Memphis City, TN NA

Charlotte 34.18%
Nashville 30.59%
Omaha 20.22%
St. Louis 15.85%
Kansas City 13.81%
Oklahoma City 13.77%
Jacksonville 10.26%
Indianapolis 9.14%
New Orleans 9.11%
Memphis 8.61%
Louisville 8.51%
Birmingham 8.09%
Tulsa 7.95%
Cincinnati 6.41%
Little Rock 2.35%
Greensboro -0.21%

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