A new report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows Houston’s economy suffered a serious decline in 2016, relinquishing its crown as the leading economy among Texas cities to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
In sharp contrast, the Austin area has the fastest-growing economy of any Texas city in 2016 and the sixth fastest-growing economy among the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas.
The report evaluates a city’s gross domestic product, or the gross amount of revenue each city produces. The Austin-Round Rock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area saw an increase in its GDP of 7.6 percent from 2014 to 2015, and another 4.9 percent from 2015 to 2016, making it the fastest-growing urban economy in Texas for two years running.
The same statistics for Houston tell a different story. From 2014 to 2015, Houston’s GDP grew by nearly five percent. However, the city’s GDP fell by three percent the following year, the only one of Texas’ four major metro areas to experience such a decline.
The report cites “a decline in natural resources and mining” as the main reason for the slide.
While both the Austin and San Antonio areas have experienced higher growth rates than the state’s two largest cities, their overall numbers still don’t measure up to Houston or Dallas. Austin’s GDP increased from $119.9 billion in 2015 to $125.8 billion in 2016. By comparison, Houston’s GDP fell from $456.2 billion in 2015 to $442.5 billion in 2016.
Houston also lost its lead in city GDP to Dallas. In 2015, the two cities were virtually even. However, Dallas’ GDP grew by three percent, from $457.4 billion in 2015 to $471.3 billion in 2016, allowing the Metroplex to surpass Houston.