Grand Junction production value up in 2008

GDP of metropolitan area up 14.9% over 2007; news probably won’t be so good next year

Grand Junction produced a record $5.227 billion worth of goods and services in 2008.

The metropolitan area’s gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 14.9 percent from 2007, when the region produced $4.549 billion in goods and services. Grand Junction’s GDP has risen every year since reaching $2.788 billion in 2001, the oldest data available.

The fresh news may curdle when 2009 numbers are released. The national GDP decreased by 6.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009, and dropped by 1 percent in the second quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The bureau does not release quarterly data by region.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis listed New York as the metropolitan area with the highest GDP ($1.265 trillion) and Palm Coast, Fla., as the region with the lowest GDP ($1.269 billion) in 2008.

Regional GDP figures released by the bureau Thursday also included information about production success in certain industries. Company and enterprise management was the only industry in Grand Junction to see a decrease in the total value of goods and services produced, dropping 10 percent in 2008.

Industries that saw the most growth in Grand Junction from 2007 to 2008 include:

• Mining, 56.1 percent growth.

• Administrative and waste services, 30.2 percent growth.

• Professional and technical services, 16.2 percent growth.

• Private industry, 15.3 percent growth.

• Construction, 15 percent growth.

Wholesale trade, accommodations and food services, transportation, government, leisure and hospitality, and real estate all experienced more than 10 percent growth in Grand Junction.

The slowest growth occurred in retail trade (4.1 percent); manufacturing (3.4 percent); arts, entertainment and recreation (3.2 percent); finance and insurance (2.8 percent) and educational services, which experienced no growth.

Mining, particularly oil and gas extraction, is unlikely to remain on top of the GDP growth list in 2009, said Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Diane Schwenke.

Schwenke said industries such as banking, law and accounting will be affected by the energy industry’s downturn. She said she believes education and health care will be Grand Junction’s main bread winners. Mesa State College had record enrollment this fall, St. Mary’s Hospital is getting set to open a new addition, and Family Health West Hospital opened this year.

“Those are the two bright spots for 2009,” Schwenke said of health and education.

“Otherwise, the rest of the economy is suffering.”


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