NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Louisiana’s eight metropolitan areas included two of the nation’s fastest growing economies and two of its fastest shrinking in 2016.
Lake Charles’ economy grew 8.1 percent, fastest in the nation according to numbers released Wednesday by the U.S. Commerce Department. That growth was boosted by nondurable goods manufacturing, tied to oil and chemical refining. Alexandria grew 7 percent, fourth fastest nationwide, boosted by natural resources and mining, a sector including oil and gas extraction.
Two other urban areas had bad news. The Lafayette area’s economy shrank 11.5 percent, third-worst nationwide.
The Houma-Thibodaux area economy shrank 10.4 percent. Both areas saw broad-based declines including drops in oil exploration, transportation and utilities, finance and real estate and durable goods manufacturing.
Gross domestic product seeks to measure all economic output of an area.